Many Americans are in the midst of making the best of the summer season, but for parents across the country, the sound of bells ringing from schools is approaching soon. Retailers have placed various deals in anticipation of the upcoming school year.
According to Tom DiChristopher of CNBC, the National Retail Federation issued its forecast for 2015 retail sales on Wednesday, which also includes back-to-school sales. It expects retail sales growth of 3.5 percent this year, which is down from an earlier estimate of 4.1 percent.
"It's a little bit like deja vu all over again. We did that last summer," National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "We think the numbers are a little bit down because people have replenished last year."
The NRF told CNBC that households are spending a growing share of their income on services instead of goods. In addition, the federation cited "unexpectedly slow growth" in the first half of 2015 due to the port shutdown on the West Coast and hazardous winter weather.
"Slightly higher growth in the second half of 2015 should offset a slow start to the year," DiChristopher wrote, citing NRF. "Its estimate accounts for general retail sales and nonstore sales and excludes automobiles, gas stations and restaurants."
Shay told CNBC that politicians should pursue growth-friendly policies such as tax reform and infrastructure spending as opposed to increasing the federal minimum wage.
As for the deals themselves, Apple has posted a list of "Current Rebates" running on their website. The computer company elaborated on the offers currently available.
"Receive a pair of Beats Solo2 On-Ear Headphones at no cost - or upgrade to a pair of Beats Solo2 Wireless Headphones for $100 - when you buy an eligible Mac with education pricing," Apple wrote.
According to Apple, the deal starts between now and Sept. 18 in "Apple Retail Stores and participating Apple Authorized Campus Stores." The deal will be available starting Aug. 6 on "the Apple Online Store and at 1-800-MY-APPLE."
However, Lisa Eadicicco of Business Insider reported that there are restrictions in trying to obtain the back-to-school discount from Apple.
"To get the discount, you have to be a student, a faculty member at a school, or a parent of a student," Eadicicco wrote. "The deal applies if you buy an iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or Mac Pro."
According to Eadicicco, this year's back-to-school deal from Apple was better than the one promoted last year.
"In July 2014, Apple offered a free $100 Apple gift card with the purchase of a Mac and a $50 gift card if you buy an iPhone or iPad," Eadicicco wrote. "This year, Apple is covering the cost of the Beats Solo2 headphones, which cost $199.95."
U.S. retailers Target and Walmart are also running back-to-school deals. Based on those advertisements, Tracy Labombarda of News for Shoppers thought that it was "a good time to start stocking up on school supplies, uniforms and more."
"Target is having a Buy One, Get One 50 percent off (BOGO) sale on school essentials and supplies, which are mix-and-match," Labombarda wrote. "BOGO items include: Mead 70-sheet composition notebook, 24-count Crayola UltraClean washable crayons, Post-it 3×3 sticky notes, 8-count Bic Xtra-Fun #2 pencils and more."
Labombarda added that Target is offering "20 percent off school uniforms" and selling both "women's tees & tanks" and "men's premium Hanes tees" for $5. She then turned her focus to the deals offered by Walmart.
"Walmart has rollback sales and drastically reduced pricing on all your school needs," Labombarda wrote, noting that all deals can be bought in-store or online. "Featured sale items: school uniform separates starting at $4.88, character backpacks starting at $8 (Disney's Frozen), kids character tees from $6, Elmers washable school glue: $0.74 and more."
According to Labombarda, all deals run from now until Saturday, July 25.