Back-to-school spending is expected to increase as much as 16% over last year, even as parents continue the bargain-hunting trend that began during the recession, according to a survey from NRF and BIGresearch. A significant number of survey respondents said they plan to buy more store-brand and generic products, and more than half said they plan to shop at department stores including Macy's, J.C. Penney and Kohl's. "We are encouraged by the fact that parents are eager to start their back-to-school shopping this year, but the industry still remains cautiously optimistic about recovery," said NRF President and CEO Matt Shay.

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