Across the region and in the Lehigh Valley, students started back to school earlier as compared to previous years. The beginning of the 2013-2014 semester, which is normally after the Labor Day holiday, occurred a full week earlier; causing many to do their last minute shopping on the final full weekend of August.
Local retailers should help increase August sales with parents buying back to school supplies, clothing, and other apparel that their children need to prepare for the upcoming school year a week before the month ended.
The good news for August will most likely be in total contrast with the following month's sales data. September's numbers are often given a boost from the last minute shopping activity and additional purchasing generated from marketing geared towards taking advantage of the days leading up to the elongated Labor Day weekend.
The curious circumstance of Labor Day being on the second day of September will also hurt sales for the month. When there is a greater length of time in September before the holiday starts, there is also increased purchases for last minute vacation plans before the kids start back to school.