Back-To-School Spending Is In Detention

Tyler Durden's picture

Perhaps summarising best how so many of the back-to-school shoppers feel, Reuters cites this insightful 18-year-old thus: "I feel like the economy is messed up [and it] feels like we are still in recession." The equity market's response, of course, is "whatev'" and while it has been three years since the 'official' end of the recession, unemployment among teenagers is the highest since 1964! The anecdotal evidence is starting to pile up as we see retailer after retailer cut outlooks - which is especially concerning since the back-to-school period is the second-biggest selling season after the winter holiday season and as the head of BizDev from Mall of America notes: "We used to see people starting [back-to-school shopping] in late July but I don't see that anymore" as "consumers have shown tentativeness in their spending habits" and are likely to push off the spend until September, and "just shopping when there is a good sale."

Once again, consumers have become conditioned to wait for discounts - and sure enough 20%-plus price reductions and more aggressive promotions are planned according to Accenture's retail practice.

However, one quote on 'thriftiness' struck a chord: "We are borrowing this year to fund a lot of things that we normally would not have borrowed to do. It makes me nervous, we are selling our second home to help pay for things" - oh, no - not your second home!

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Ahmeexnal's picture


Nowhere to go…No place to go...
I'm real screwed up, my eyes are sore from smoking all that shit…
No place to go…
Bottomless heart, so big that everything just gets lost in there
And if it never comes out,… that's ok by me..
And on other side, ……… the top there may light at the end of the tunnel
..I just don't think I'll be the same…
I'm just warning you…I'm warning you crutches….no nothin'
…I am…going to live the end…apocalypse man….what the hell else is there to do?
I want a mission, not a gig or a good time, I want a mission
Scrawny stiff legs and despair come walkin my way with an achy step
Shipwrecked souls desolation paradise……
bountiful wonderland of lost souls staggering around arms out stretched looking…
for something…….lonely hero man sitting on the crest of the apocalypse
and our boy says something like uhhhh…..
hey sir, ..I'm a man away from home,… and my soul is out on loan,
could you throw us down a bone,…so I wouldn't be all alone
'cause I wanna see it all, and I wanna have it all, and I wanna see it fall,
and I wanna take it all away..
February 13th, birthday new shirt around my neck, shivers up and down my spine,
The time is mine and I'm feelin fine ..and I take this one thin dime
And I call my mom on the phone and say…
Say something to warm her heart..
Say uhh your boy done fucked up…
Had a bit of hard luck….went down a wrong trail, messed with the wrong people
And just lost his mind ..just lost his mind …just lost his mind…..
just lost his mind ……...just lost his mind ……..just lost his mind ……...just lost his mind
……….JUMPED!! …. get stuck in the trunk,.. got stuck in the jungle
and their jokes and their votes and their wrong side looks, and all the notes in the books,
and all the wrong turns and all the bad burns…
and he never learned to not get burned and he never learned
one more wrong turn led to another wrong turn….
YAAAA!!PEOPLE!! …these people.. are for real… they watch television….
They run in circles….they bark like dogs …they nip at my heals…..
They wanna put a collar around my neck…..they want me to be like them…….
Well I just walk right past, right over em, right though em, right on top of them…….
I crush their face….'cause it's easy…'cause their nothing ….'cause their nothing
……. little dogs….humping dogs…stickin' that thing in any crack that passes by……..
Dirt falling in my mind, ..dirt gets stuck in my mouth, dirt gets stuck in my eyes…
Seeing everything through dirt, all I see is dirt, all I know is dirt…..just talking dirt,
Talking dirt, Digging dirt, loving dirt, rolling in dirt………
Dirt river, dirt slithers, dirt lovers, dirt undercover, dirt over color

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaooooh …………..
I've felt dirty before, but it never felt quite like this,
I've seen dirt before but it never looked quite like this
I've talked dirt before but it never sounded quite like this………..
That's not the way it is….That's just the way it is around here…around these paats..
........It took a long time to make a long rhyme,
It took a long time to make a story short
It took a lotta lives and a lotta lies to make this story what it is
And stretch it into a disgusting distortion and proportion and detail….
And you can retail that, and sell it to the market and see what you get
Bring back the proceeds and we'll spend it on …something that works..
Something that will save me, something that will get me out of here…
There's nothing I want more….like out…
there's nothing I like to roll in like dirt…. …….LOOK!!......
Ashamed of myself….I've looked at myself…I've hated myself……..
And if we could all just …..get together and hate a little…we could hate one another…
Hate our sisters and brothers in the sea of disuniTy….
Get my fill when the bloodspills, Get my fill when the bloodspills
Get my fill when the bloodspills, I get my freeze with the chillspells,
I get my thrills with the cheers feel, I get my thrills with the cheers feels,
the glass breaks….Chills up and down my spine and I'm feeling fine..
I was feeling fine the time is mine………………..
Spendin time to time getting my beer and all the gulls wing inside my head,
and alarms goin on and off ….
all fucked up…all messed up…open my eyes, too much breathing,
too much of that fucking dirty air…..makes me talk shit …makes me live shit…………………
makes me wanna kiss the ground, better than kissing you…dirt girl, …in that dirt dress…
what's up that dirt dress ..what's up that dirt dress….ain't nothing but a bunch a trash
ain't nothing but a bunch a trash ain't nothing but a bunch a trash
ain't nothing but a bunch a trash, but you seem to have me quite interested, …
quite interested, I think I'll walk your way, I think I'll say your name,
I think I'll come over to your house..
Eeeeeeeeuuuuuuuwwwww you got something for me! you got something for me!
I'm the man among men walking tall with a plan,
You can send it around the world, you can hold it in your hand
You can bring it on home, I'm Armageddon man giiirllll……
Armageddon man giiirllll!!!... Armageddon man giiirllll!!!
And I want the whole world …I want the whole world …………I want the whole world
I wanna make this place a better place……and send my shovel and face…everywhere….
A statue of my effigy ………..they erected a slum in my name …..
Henry Rollins memorial slum …. Henry Rollins memorial pit…..
Got a grave with my name…..I gotta grave that always looks the same ……
Through the eyes of a fuckin' bug !

smiler03's picture

Saturday night is Mushroom night!

GMadScientist's picture

And every night is Saturday night-ight-ight-ight.

engineertheeconomy's picture

I got Arthritus from trying to scroll past all that...

Sokhmate's picture

I got carpool tunnel syndrome from scrolling.

Atomizer's picture

All members of ZH, please report to Room #101 immediately. Code Red, I repeat code Red.


Atomizer: Thank you for arriving on such short notice. We’ve received a dire request to assist in new ways by providing mathematical miracles for the DNC 2012 election.

Atomizer: This asset is paying high dollar value to help his puppet employer run new commercial ads to reach out to his voting support group and explain common math problems.

Atomizer: I forwarded this to our Asset.

Y = C + I + E + G 


C = Consumer Spending

I = Investment made by industry

E = Excess of Exports over Imports

G = Government Spending

**Consolidating core manufacturing units will enable higher returns on risk investments. ;)

Asset: We already know about this. Our policies are not working. Do you think we’re that insane by sharing this information to our voting support group?

Asset: Fuck you Atomizer, you’re fired!!

Yen Cross's picture

 That's why China sells $'s Atomizer! You just won the " Golden Unicorn" award!

Atomizer's picture

I have to decline that award. Appears someone already holds the title. Smirks.. Not going to fuck with than cutie!

Click here

Yen Cross's picture

 She's an ASSASSIN, and did I mention the "Golden Unicorn" XAU Knuckles?

Atomizer's picture

tisk tisk, I try to leave my dark humor at the ZH gatekeeper login. You always seem to catch me. Winks

Have to log off and enjoy life. Take care!

Never One Roach's picture

Just please tell me that no ZH readers are sending their kids to first day of school wearing socks with their sandals....What a fashion blunder!

unwashedmass's picture


no, we spent all our money on the coolest pocket protectors. 

Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Shit. I got my kid a new Palm Pilot, so he can keep track of his schedule. The future is now!

FEDbuster's picture

My kid is a senior in HS.  I asked him what he needed for "back to school" clothes, shoes, school supplies, etc....?   His reply, "nothing".  I bought him ten 15 cent notebooks and a ten pack of G2 pens just in case he needs to write something down.   Next year off to college where the expenses will get "real".

GMadScientist's picture

White pantsuits after Labor Day.

OldE_Ant's picture

lol.  Push off spending.   How about cut it out completely.   Hell one could sit there with a digital camera and 'take notes' - forget about notebooks.  Pencils/pens - I have a i-pod or laptop and my teacher accepts e-mail homework submissions.   Hell the day is coming for tests the teachers will just put the test out on wireless and wait for returns - school supplies will become superfluous (already are in a lot of places).

Heck with computers and the internet - who needs to learn anything anymore?

And higher education is just an overpriced party!  So hell take your college loan, start throwing parties and you too can be the next Risky Businessman.

End of Line

HungrySeagull's picture

Been there done that. WHen I was in University, the textbooks we bought were sold back unopened.

Yes unopened.

It's all Google Baby,

TrainWreck1's picture

Wonder if Obama sold his books back?

benjamin_1114's picture

Had a garage sale in a upper middle class neighborhood in MN the last few days with a lot of kids clothes for sale.  They pretty much all sold to people saying it's cheaper then shopping at Target/Macy's.  My wife is now fired from buying new clothes for the shorties.  I might have to sleep on the couch for a while, but that's better then the massive hole she leaves in my checking account the end of every summer.

slackrabbit's picture

How about a trade in for a cheaper model ;-)

aerojet's picture

The difference between being considered a super guy and a fucking worthless deadbeat is about $10,000 over a lifetime.  Food for thought.  I have nothing against hand-me-downs and the occasional used clothing, and kids grow out of clothes really fast, but you need to be careful here--the "cheap bastard" label is not applied suddenly, it is a matter of precedent, especially with women.

rambo1028's picture

Target and walmart are sometimes a little too expensive for my nudget, however I have managed to keep my son in childrens place and gymboree clothes by using craigslist and garage sales. I pay $2 for what your wife bought for $16.99. Anyone who pays retail these days is insane. Another bonus is, the clothes from gymboree and childrens place are made so well that I can then resell them most times.

GMadScientist's picture

Did you ever go back a second day?

mofreedom's picture

My kinder g has to buy kleenex and papertowels for school.   I have a stockpile of napkins from Mc Donalds that should suffice.  And the lovely smell if fries...


aerojet's picture

I don't think taking photos of a whieboard is going to help you learn anything as compared to actually taking notes.  There are few shortcuts to actual learning.

shinola's picture

In 1934 did anyone know that they were in the middle of the Great Depression?

Skateboarder's picture

Unlikely - they read the newspapers and wondered what the hell was going on. Fast forward almost 70 years later, replace newspapers with TV and internet, and only a few of us know that we're in the middle of being raped right now.

Things that went up: stupidity, false security, population, debt, centralization.

Things that went down: critical thinking, freedom, responsibility, wealth, self-reliance.

Yep, we're fucked alright.

FEDbuster's picture

History will look back on The Greatest Depression or Great Depression v. 2.0 wondering how the governments and central banks were able to cover up the misery and kick the economic can for so long.  Of course when they can't anymore, everyone will "wake up".

aerojet's picture

Do people even watch news or read newspapers?  I don't bother.  Maybe old people do, I don't know.  I think Americans know that things suck ass and they have tuned out because who needs to keep hearing hte same message over and over?

GMadScientist's picture

I talked to my grandmother before she passed about it; she was in her early teens in 1929 so she remembered quite a bit. Yes, they knew they were in a depression (dumb fucking question), but no, they didn't have a clue whether it was a half-way point or not. Everyone had seen hard times before, but the scale of it and the dustbowl made looking to a brighter future next to impossible. She remembered hoboes coming to their backdoor to beg for food, how their diet changed radically to adapt to what they could afford, and about the near-constant fighting over money it brought out in my g-grandparents. They had it relatively easy by comparison and knew it.

I honestly don't think babyboomers and Gen-X-ers will be able to handle the coming shitstorm while retaining anything like dignity.

JimmyCDN's picture

I think you are right.  Most of the BBs & Xers are spoiled and self-entitled.  Some of us have, at the very least, have mentally prepared.  It is in these times of great adversity that true, community building leaders will emerge...

Overfed's picture

I'm a "gen-Xer", and I see pretty clearly what's going on, doing my best to prepare. Most folks my age (early 40s) have a mortgage, car payment, payment on a couple of quads and a trailer to haul them, boat payment, credit card payment, student loans, etc. They're fucked.

My only debt is my sub-$600/mo. mortgage. I could make that flippin' burgers.

Jena's picture

Talk to your grandparents (or ask your parents if they remember any of the stories).  They knew.  Mine sure did.  Lots of stories of how many hours they worked for how many cents or how many burlap bags of cucumbers, flats of strawberries, bales of hay they sold for how little money.  My husband's grandmother had to leave her father and her home to live with neighbors at about age eleven after her mother died because he couldn't afford to raise her.  

Life was tough.  They knew.

ShortTheUS's picture

In a society like ours - where people work jobs they hate to buy shit they don't need - it's refreshing to see pepole starting to act thrifty.

Staples has sales from time to time where they send a rebate check for practically the entire purchase. Or they make it free outright. If you wait long enough, you can get just about everything for free.

My new motto whenever I shop there or other places is: "If it ain't free, I'm not buyin'."

Yes_Questions's picture



Are you trying say something about me driving my leased BMW to my job certifying foreclosure documents?

FEDbuster's picture

Now THAT was funny, I don't care who you are.

GMadScientist's picture

Your ethics may indeed count as a handicap, but please leave that space for those with actual physical ailments. ;)

Totentänzerlied's picture

Thrift can be viewed as an effect.

If the cause is that consumers are simply strapped for spending money, they are merely adjusting to the reality of reduced purchasing power, ability to consume. Just a fancy way of saying that, if they could continue to consume a greater amount, they would, but they can't. This is what we are seeing, nothing more.

If ever the cause was to be something, like, say, a realization that the overpriced junk they've been conditioned to value above all else is not only largely useless AND poorly made, but ALSO not the solution to their unhappy, empty, and pathetic lives, THEN we'll be on to something worth rolling out of bed fo. It's a shift in mentality from conspicuous consumer to ... something else.

Freddie's picture

I used to go to Staples and Office Depot usually once a month.  Now it is once every 4 months.  The places are usually empty too.  It is so weird.  I have shopped at those stores since probably 1986.  They are ghost towns now. More Hope and Change.

GMadScientist's picture

You still drive to brick and mortar stores. LOL

"Everybody's lost but me!"

aerojet's picture

Oddly, I can drive to to four different Target stores within only an eight-mile radius of my house.  There is also a Wal-Mart about two miles from us.  Then I read that not one, but two more Wal-Marts are being put in within the same radius.  What the hell?  Same store sales--anyone at corporate HQ driving these ships?  There are plenty of Office Maxes and Staples stores around, too, but I don't know where they are because they have nothing I need.

buzzsaw99's picture

gadgets take priority over clothes and books and chit

GMadScientist's picture

But they've got apps, so you can post pictures of your clothes, and books, and chit.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Nothing wrong with wearing worn, patched jeans. Retail outlets charge double for shit that looks like it's been run over by a dump truck, rode hard, and put away wet.

Yen Cross's picture

 Slightly used " Christmas lights" for sale.  Contact; BKRupt