Back-to-school shopping: Can retailers make the grade?

As soon as the Fourth of July passed, retailers immediately readied for the explosion of back-to-school shoppers.

Staples, the national office-supplies chain, declared the Tuesday after July 4 the first official day of the back-to-school shopping season — just like the Friday after Thanksgiving jump-starts the holiday shopping season.

But with a slumping economy facing retailers, getting customers to open their pocketbooks this year may be trickier than a trigonometry quiz.

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