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Survey: Back-To-School Shopping Kicks Off 2 Months Before School Starts

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Believe it or not, back-to-school shopping has already begun.

Parents are getting the chore out of the way early, to take advantage of sales and make sure they get the goods before retailers sell out, CBS 2's Jericka Duncan reported Tuesday.

Kristen Jordan and her 11-year-old daughter, Clara, recently got an early jump on back-to-school shopping.

"It was very helpful to me to say let's do this now and not wait," Kristen said. "The shelves are stocked and full."

A recent survey by the National Retail Federation found 24 percent of parents are shopping for school items at least two months before school starts -- that's up from 15 percent in 2007.

"I think every year just gets sooner and sooner," shopper Joann Costanza said.

The demand has retailers like Target promoting back-to-school items earlier.

"Everything is really on sale now. This is definitely the time to get it now that we're in stock," Target team leader Ana Martinez said.

The National Retail Federation said it expects parents to spend more on their kids this year.

"The average family this year will spend about $670 on apparel, footwear, electronics, of course, school supplies. That's up about 5 percent from last year," said Kathy Grannis, the senior director of media relations for the National Retail Federation.

Electronics are becoming more of a necessity in the classroom, and this year shoppers will spend at least 7 percent more on items like laptops and smartphones than they did last year,' Duncan reported.

When asked if pays attention to price at all, Clara Jordan laughed and shook her head, "No."

It's a lesson for parents and a reminder of who's really in control -- at least before school starts.

The National Retail Federation says total expected spending for back-to-school supplies will reach $75 billion, with dads tending to spend more than moms on back-to-school items.

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