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by Sapna Maheshwari
TheNewsTribune.com

New York, NY - With Abercrombie & Fitch giving away 1,000 iPads and J.C. Penney offering $10 million of free haircuts, retailers are pulling out the stops to make sure they get a share of what may be the best back-to-school shopping season in a decade.

Back-to-school sales, second only to the end-of-year holiday shopping season, may rise 2.5 percent to a record $40.4 billion this year, as consumers replenish wardrobes with more disposable income and the number of students increases, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Retailers, stinging from lackluster sales in the first half of the year, are tempting shoppers with promotions to distract them from anxiety tied to the U.S. economy, where the unemployment rate has been above 8 percent for more than three years. Kmart is providing free flu shots to loyalty members who spend at least $100, and Old Navy gave out backpacks and OfficeMax coupons to shoppers who spent $50 or more.

 

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