New York State In-depth

‘Shrinkflation’ and Sticker Shock: Back-to-School Expectations From Supply Chain Professor

Media Tip Sheets

What should parents expect as they begin back-to-school shopping for their kids this year? Patrick Penfield is a professor of practice in supply chain management and director of executive education at the Syracuse University Whitman School of Management. He provides insight below about how everything from school clothing to lunch items may be impacted this year.

Patrick Penfield

Penfield says:

“Back-to-school supplies will be in stock, but unfortunately cost more than they did last year. High energy prices, increased labor and transportation costs, and supply chain disruptions are impacting the price of school supplies this year.

“Parents will experience sticker shock on clothing, sneakers and school supplies this year. In addition to higher prices, parents will also see ‘shrinkflation’ where they will be getting less of the school supplies they have purchased in the past at the same cost they paid last year. Expect to see ‘shrinkflation’ with tissues, pencils, paper, markers, and many of your other school supplies.

“There will be plenty of food in the US food supply chain, but there will be shortages of certain food and packaging supplies. We are already seeing issues and shortages of glass, aluminum, mustard, popcorn, and chickpeas. You may not see the variety of food you are accustomed to seeing for back-to-school lunches in the fall.”

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Daryl Lovell
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Division of Communications

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Syracuse University

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