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Back-to-school: Will retailers’ bets pay off?

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As students across the country trade in their backpacks for beach balls, retailers are already plotting how to reel finicky teenagers into their stores for the critical back-to-school selling season. And for some, it could be their final exam.

Contrary to last year’s back-to-school period, when teen stores were scaling back inventories amid dim hopes for the category, they’re taking a more aggressive stance on 2015.

Several external factors indicate that teens and their parents have more money to spend on these items. According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, 4.7 million teens between the ages of 16 and 19 were employed as of May, up 5 percent from the prior year. Though consumer confidence fell short of expectations last month, its reading of 95.4 marked a 13-point increase over the prior year. …

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CNBC  6/22/2015

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