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Heads up if your kids need new sneakers or backpacks: There will probably be a shortage of back-to-school supplies

July 22, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 20.2%. 1 min read.

A customer rides an escalator inside a Shopper's Find location, a former Lord & Taylor store that went bankrupt last year, at the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, New Jersey, U.S., on Monday, July 5, 2021. Shoppers Find is sourcing directly from manufacturers or wholesalers stuck with piles of last seasons fashion and other extra goods as the retail industry regroups after the pandemic accelerated a monumental shakeout with more than 20 well-known retailers. Photographer: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New York (CNN)Back-to-school shopping is always a nightmare. This year, expect it to be even worse.

While parents may be used to encountering shortages of items like sneakers, backpacks and gadgets later in the season -— which typically lasts from mid-July through the end of August — products are expected to be in tight supply even earlier.

"In footwear, sneakers are by far the biggest back-to-school category for kids," said Beth Goldstein, retail analyst with market research firm NPD Group

Panjiva's data indicates that clothing, kids shoes and backpacks remain in tight supply with imports of those products in the second quarter up from last year but still below 2019 pre-pandemic levels even as consumer spending has revved up, boosted by government stimulus and pent-up demand.

Walmart (WMT), a top destination for school shopping, said while inventories of most of its basic supplies are on track, some other categories are experiencing shortages but didn't provide further details.

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