Stores run out of school supplies just before the new year

FORT MYERS

If you’re a parent who waited until the last minute to get supplies to fill your child’s backpack this upcoming school year, you may be out of luck.

From notebooks to clothes to pencils, store displays and aisles that are normally stocked look bare this year.

WINK News hit stores in Southwest Florida to see where you can still stock up for those last-minute needs. Every store had paper and notebooks, but pencils and erasers were hard to come by.

A Walmart shopper described things as “hectic”.

“We just started and I see everything is empty,” said Iris Taylor.

Just days after the start of the back-to-school duty-free vacation in Florida and days before school starts, parents like Loretta said shopping this year was stressful.

“You can’t find everything you want. You have a lot of people who won’t move…because you’re also shopping,” she said.

Students are shifting from remote learning to in-person instruction, driving demand for school supplies. We went to two Targets and two Walmarts and saw the lack of supplies.

“They are missing pencils, folders, everything is not there,” Loretta said.

“I don’t know. We might have to go to a few stores,” Taylor said.

Clothing inventory was also thin but not unavailable, but don’t wait to go and get the things you want as you may not find the sizes you need.

When picking up supplies, be sure to check the prices of your items carefully. At a Target location, the 24-point Crayola crayons in the back-to-school section were all out. These were marked at .50. Right in the aisles, in the office supplies section, the same box of pencils was available but priced at $1.39.

If you can’t find the supplies on your list, try ordering online, but choosing the curbside pickup option. Sometimes stores have the items you need in stock, they just can’t be found on the shelves. Both Target and Walmart offer this service for free.

And if those supplies still aren’t available, consider teaming up with other parents to buy in bulk from sites like Amazon and split the cost.

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