The initiative, designed to support retailers while providing shoppers with discounts, will kick off Thursday, July 23, and continue through Sunday, July 26, with deals at over more than 100 brands including Overstock, Macy’s, Sephora, Nike, and Cabela’s. Some brands will offer as much as 20 percent cash back, RetailMeNot said.
“Saving money is something we can all smile about right now,” said Sara Skirboll, shopping and trends expert at RetailMeNot, in a statement. “We want to give people a reason to shop for the things they’ve been holding back on and feel good about staying within budget. It’s a win, win, and there’s no better time to take advantage of impressive deals as we approach the Fall.”
Consumers expect to spend an average of $532 on back-to-school items this year, up from $507 in 2019, according to a RetailMeNot survey.
The event’s announcement comes on the same day the U.S. Census Bureau reported the nation’s retail sales increased 7.5 percent in June, a sign that the economy appeared to be headed in the right direction before the second wave of COVID-19 struck many states, the Associated Press (AP) reported. When the July numbers are released in August, they are expected to reflect a slowdown in the recovery.
Retail sales rose by 1 percent in June compared to a year ago. But analysts say the gains may be temporary as infections began to rise toward the end of June.
“While today’s report gives the illusion of a fearless consumer spending lavishly, the reality is more sobering: consumers are increasingly fearful amid new spikes in COVID-19 cases and a looming fiscal cliff,” Lydia Boussour, senior U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, told AP.
This week, Texas and Pennsylvania pulled back on store and restaurant openings and capacities as the coronavirus surged.
“I suspect the modest pullback we have seen in our card spending data since late June is driven by concern about the resurgence of COVID-19,” Jesse Edgerton, an economist at JPMorgan Chase, said in the AP report.
The biggest gains came in the sporting goods, musical instrument, books and hobbies categories with a year-over-year sales increase of nearly 21 percent. Building materials stores saw a more than 17 percent annual increase while supermarkets saw a 12 percent hike in sales.