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Retailers prepare for back-to-school shopping

With summer vacation halfway over, more families are getting ready for the back-to-school season. Parents will need to make plenty of purchases to get their kids ready for class this fall, making it vital for small-business owners to invest in the right cash and check scanner before it's too late in the season.

Families prepared to spend more
Shoppers will also be spending significantly more this year than they did in years past, according to Huntington Bank's annual Backpack Index. When compared to last year, back-to-school expenses for K-12 jumped an average of 7.3 percent.

This year, parents can expect to pay an average of $577 for their elementary aged kids' school supplies, a 5.3 percent year-over-year increase. Middle school students' families anticipate spending $763, a jump of 5.3 percent when compared to 2012. Families with high schoolers will spend the most ($1,223, on average) and see the biggest year-over-year spike (9.5 percent).

This is a significant increase from when the Backpack Index was initially launched several years ago. Since 2007, back-to-school costs have jumped 22 percent for young kids, 43 percent for middle schoolers and 23 percent for those heading to high school.

The nature of school supplies has changed in recent years as technology has advanced and played a more important role in education. The index does take into account new gadgets that have become essential for students to have within the classroom, like flash drives, tablets and high-tech calculators.

Retailers ready for business
As more families determine what they already have and what they'll need to purchase before their kids head back to the classroom, more local businesses could see a jump in sales. With back-to-school season just around the corner, retailers will need to be prepared with the right check scanner that will allow them to manage transactions more efficiently and speed along backroom processes.

July 31, 2013