According to the National Retail Federation retailers are going to have to do a little extra work if they want to match 2012 sales figuresIts back to school time and according to the National Retail Federation retailers are going to have to do a little extra work if they want to match 2012 sales figures. The recent report states that 2012 was an unusual peak-buying season that won’t be repeated in 2013 because students have “an array of school supplies that still work” and “parents will ask their kids to reuse what they can for the upcoming school season.” Therefore, families with K-12 children will spend an average of $634.78 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics, down from $688.62 in 2012; that could reach a cumulative $26.7 billion. Separate back-to-college spending, show the NRF/Prosper Insights & Analytics survey data, will be $836.83 for apparel, electronics, dorm furnishings and more; this could reach $48.5 billion. So what should retailers do? It will take a disciplined lesson plan that leverages knowledge of consumer spending patterns, emulates some of the best aspects of Walmart’s price leadership (they rolled out products pre-July 4th), Target’s style leadership (with 200 more school items in most of its stores), and Office Depot’s anti-bullying messages. Retailers need to appeal to consumers in all these aspects; price, style and values. The merchants that relate best to shoppers on these levels should be able to capture a decent slice of an otherwise small sales pie.