Coronavirus curbs reopening, school supply shopping

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NEW YORK – For Michelle Lynn England, back-to-school shopping always meant heading to Target and the local mall with her two girls and dropping about $500 on each of them for trendy outfits.

Not this year.

The Charlotte, North Carolina, woman cut her spending on clothing in half for her 10-year-old and 14-year-old and instead spent more on masks and other supplies as a surge in coronavirus cases forced her school district to extend online learning through the fall.

“The kids always looked forward to getting something new,” said England, who spent $500 in total this time around. “It didn’t make any sense to buy any extra clothes that won’t be worn.”

As the pandemic drags into the new school year, it is wreaking havoc on reopening plans and the back-to-school shopping season, the second most important period for retailers behind the holidays.

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