WILLISTON PARK - Parents getting ready to send their children back to school are ticking off the items on their supply lists at no small cost.
According to a National Retail Federation survey, the average American family with school-age children will spend about $630 on supplies, electronics and apparel this year. That cost is up 42 percent in the last 10 years.
Some parents head to big retailers for their items, but at John's Variety store in Williston Park, shoppers are rewarded for buying from the small business.
Owner John Robinson has worked out a deal with some of the local school districts that allows him to receive the specific supply lists for each class months ahead of time. He orders the supplies in bulk to save money, and when parents place their orders later in the summer, he has everything they need at the ready. He says the parents get a 10 percent discount for buying their supplies at the store, and 4 percent of the sale gets donated to their child's school.
Robinson says back-to-school time might as well be a holiday. "This is our Christmas here," he says. The children who are using his supplies, however, just might not share that sentiment.