Sure, it's still flip-flop season, but 16-year old Angelica Gonzalez was checking out lunchboxes.

"I was actually trying to look or a bathing suit, but there's nothing but uniforms," she said while shopping Friday at the Academy Sports and Outdoors on the south side.

There racks of khakis and a rainbow of polo shirts greeted summer shoppers.

People are beginning to buy clothing for class, according to the store manager Fawna Crider.

"We have a lot of traffic, and they build up their stock and buy maybe one kid at a time," she said.

While most retailers gear up for school in July, some rang the bell extra early this year.

Toys R Us has been advertising its big backpack sale since before the July 4 holiday. Staples has already rolled out a promotional discount.

After a so-so spring, the retail industry would be happy to see parents shop early and often. That's a concept Sabas Saucedo, who has two children in high school, appreciates.

"A lot of us have to buy a little at a time instead of everything at once," he said.

For families inclined to procrastinate,  Texas' tax-free weekend on most apparel and backpacks priced less than $100 per item is set for Aug. 17-19.