With the new school year almost here, kids and parents armed with school supply lists are continuing to fill the aisles of local stores.
Lynn Wilkinson, general manager of the Fort Saskatchewan Staples, says that late summer is her busiest time of year. She typically sees twice the usual number of customers stopping by from the end of August to the beginning of September.
Customers are mainly looking for pencils, pencil crayons, backpacks, lunch kits and other much-needed school supplies, but Wilkinson has also seen a larger number of parents shopping for technology.
Fort Saskatchewan schools are in their third year of the Bring Your Own Devices program, an initiative that encourages students in grades 4 to 12 to use their own iPads, laptops and other electronics in the classroom.
Wilkinson is noticing a few trends when it comes to kids and their screens. Elementary students seem to prefer iPads while young teens are more likely to use Chromebooks, the device schools recommend for kids in junior high grades. High school students tend to choose Windows-based devices.

Parents of younger children usually arrive at the checkout line with more in their carts than parents of teenagers, Wilkinson said.
"Older kids don't need as much stuff anymore, especially with the way technology is going. They need very little whereas when you are in kindergarten to Grade 3, you need more things to learn how to write and colour."

Staples aims to keep its shelves stocked with school supplies that have interesting patterns and colours.
"If you look at office supplies for school, it's kind of like fashion,” Wilkinson said. “Some of the kids like to look like their own style, getting unique patterns and having fun with that.”

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