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Bloomberg reports that there are expectations that “the back-to-school shopping marathon, the second-largest shopping season in the U.S. after the end-of-year holidays, could be pushed deep into September,” as customers wait for the deeper discounts that they feel inevitably will come.

 “No one buys on the first markdown,” says Craig Johnson, president of the consulting firm Customer GrowthPartners. “Only chumps pay full price. We haven’t seen the desperation fire sales yet.”

The sense seems to be that the recession has trained shoppers to wait on making planned purchases, since they believe that retailers will engage in price wars, aggressive promotions, and various other machinations as they sacrifice margin for sales and market share.
KC's View:
Think of this as a natural by-product of the so-called “new normal.” Except for certain occasions - like Thanksgiving and Christmas - with hard and fast deadlines, many customers are going to wait as long as they can for the lowest possible price on the items they need, and may not even buy items they merely want unless they have some sort of compelling reason.