Back to school (marketing)
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
In merchandising, back to school is the period, predominantly in August in the Northern Hemisphere, in which students and their parents purchase supplies and apparel to prepare themselves for the upcoming school year.
In North America, back to school shopping is a way to associate Labor Day, a widely observed holiday but one with no inherent celebrations, with a shopping tradition, much as Memorial Day is associated with summer products and Thanksgiving has been associated with shopping for Christmas gifts. Labor Day has since become symbolic as the unofficial "end of summer," since most schools and colleges begin their school year around that time.
Back to school sale 
||The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010)|
Many department stores, such as Target, Wal-Mart, and Kmart advertise back to school sales as a time when school supplies and children's and young adults' clothing goes on sale. Office supplies retail has become an important element of this season, especially with the rise of the prominence of personal computers and related equipment in education; traditional supplies such as paper, pens, pencils and binders will often be marked at steep discounts, often as loss leaders to entice shoppers to buy other items in the store. Many states offer tax-free periods (usually about a week) at which time any school supplies and children's clothing purchased does not have sales tax added.
This period of time usually lasts from mid-July through early September, before the school year starts in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. In Australia and New Zealand, this usually occurs in January, while in Malaysia, this period lasts from late November to December.