Stores running out of school supplies just before new year

Reporter: Andryanna Sheppard Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

If you’re a parent who has 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 are looking bare this year.

WINK News went to stores across Southwest Florida to see where you can still stock up on those last-minute needs. Each store did have paper and notebooks, but pencils and erasers were hard to come by.

One Walmart shopper described things as “hectic.”

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

Just days into Florida’s back-to-school tax-free holiday and just days before school starts, parents like Loretta said shopping this year is stressful.

“You can’t find everything you want. You have a lot of people that won’t move out your way…because you’re shopping too,” she said.

Students are going from distance learning to in-person instruction and that’s driving the 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 here,” Loretta said.

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

The clothing inventory was also slim but not unavailable, but don’t wait to go get things you want because you may not find the sizes you need.

While picking up supplies, make sure to check the prices of your items closely. At one Target location, the 24-count Crayola crayons in the back-to-school section were all out. Those were marked at .50. Just aisles over, in the office supply section, the exact same box of crayons was available but priced at $1.39.

If you’re unable to find the supplies on your list, try ordering online but choosing the curbside pickup option. Sometimes, stores do have the items you need in stock they just can’t be found on 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 on sites like Amazon and split the cost.

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