Target, Staples, Dollar General, other retailers lure in teachers with back-to-school discounts

Major retailers are trying to lure in teachers with competing discounts ahead of the upcoming school year. 

The main competitors are Target, Kohls, Staples and Dollar General – all of which are trying to capitalize on the back-to-school shopping season. 

For its fourth year, Target featured its Teacher Prep event, offering teachers a one-time discount of 15% off select classroom supplies if they join the company's loyalty program, Target Circle.  

The discount applies to all K-12 teachers, homeschool teachers, teachers working at daycare centers and early childhood learning centers, university or college professors, and vocational/trade/technical school teachers. However, it only applies through July 31.

Target storefront

Target storefront in Richmond, Texas. (Target)

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Target's effort kicked off right after Kohl's offered a two-day sale, giving "educators and school staff an opportunity to treat themselves" to a 20% discount on in-store purchases from July 16-18. 

Staples and Dollar General are also following suit, though their sales last through September. 

Dollar General is offering educators a 30% discount on purchases through Sept. 6 and Staples is offering teachers and school administrators 20% off select in-store purchases through Sept. 30. However, Staples customers will need to enroll in the company's Classroom Rewards program on the Staples Connect app to reap the benefits.

The back-to-school shopping season is seen as the second most important period for retailers behind the holidays and consumers are already hitting the stores, according to industry experts.

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The National Retail Federation (NRF), the nation's largest retail trade group, said more than half of K-12 and college shoppers, about 51%, began shopping for the items they will need when classes resume. 

In fact, many of them, about 39%, are taking advantage of sale events, including Prime Day, Target Deal Days and Walmart's Deals for Days for back-to-school supplies, according to the NRF.  

The Associated Press contributed to this report.