CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- More and more retails stores are moving up the back to school shopping season.
"There's a lot of folks in the back to school business these days and they're all looking to get their piece of the pie," said retail consultant George Whalin.
Whalin says early sales are one way to do that.
"They've got to be aggressive. They've got to go after the business. There's not a whole lot out there, you've got to get what you can," he explained.
So why is it so important to get shoppers in early?
After Christmas the back to school shopping season is the biggest of the year in retail.
Consumers have become major bargain shoppers, demanding deals and knowing where to find them.
"They look for good prices. They're very smart," said JC Penney store manager John Pollack. "They use their handheld computers, their handhelds for coupons. They shop the web before they come in. They know what they're coming in for and they know the price."