CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — With so many parents still unsure if their children will be back in the classroom in the next few weeks, back to school shopping has been slow this year.
It's the heart of the back to school season.
But in this pandemic summer, parents are wondering: where are the big sales?
You may have noticed something missing this year.
“I've been told this stuff can make or break your entire year,” mom Harley Elliot said.
Those TV commercials for jeans, gym shoes and backpacks.
It's tough for stores to plan sales when moms like Elliot have no idea what their kids need.
"Is it tricky shopping without a list? It is very tricky,” she said. “I have two sixth-graders and two eighth-graders. You have to guess what they want? Yes."
Anisha Crawford doesn't plan to buy school clothes.
"Well, it’s kind of hard because they are doing the first five weeks online,” Crawford said. “So it’s hard to figure out what they need."
With this school year still up in the air, retail experts say stores did not want to get stuck with a lot of merchandise they couldn't sell.
So it’s unlikely you'll find giant sale racks of clearance items just yet.
"We're waiting for schools to announce what’s on the supply list,” said Joanie Demer, founder of KrazyCouponlady.com. “So we think we might see sales stretch into later in August, when typically it’s right now."
She says the hottest items this year are laptops and webcams for zoom learning.
But those items are running low, so don't expect huge discounts.
"The items in the hottest demand, we are not seeing a tremendous amount of sales on,” Demer said.
But Demer says you will find great prices on the basics.
“We are seeing prices on par with last year when it comes to notebooks and binders and erasers,” she said.
Best of all, major stores are offering all their sale prices online this year, for shoppers who want to stay out of stores.
"Whether our customers want to shop in store or online, they will get the same great products at our everyday low prices,” said Marissa Kargas, a Walmart spokesman.
So the sales are still on, just without the fanfare.
The Krazy Coupon Lady says if school clothing and shoes do not sell well this month, look for huge discounts in September.
And as always don’t waste your money.