Schoolchildren around the country are certainly excited about it, but some analysts say retailers may not have all that much to look forward to this summer.
Despite a rebound in the Consumer Confidence Index -- May's increase was the first this year after four months of declines -- and other indicators, some analysts see continuing pressure on supermarket shoppers from economic and other factors.
"Gas prices are higher than they were last summer, and that's a drag," said Andrew Wolf, analyst, BB&T Capital Markets, Richmond, Va. "The point is that it's less of a drag the higher you go up the income scale, and it's more of a drag the lower you go."
Gary Giblen, principal in GMG Capital, Darien, Conn., said unseasonably chilly weather like many areas experienced in recent weeks could also hinder supermarkets' efforts to capture a portion of projected increases in consumer spending increases.
"A cool summer could mean fewer barbecues and less food consumption outdoors," he said.
He also noted that high gas prices and rising interest rates could continue to crimp consumers' discretionary spending.
"Gas prices are still very high, and though they've come down a bit to provide some relief, they're still very volatile," he said. "The general economy is stable, but with interest rates going up, that could take some disposable income away from people with home equity loans."
Another analyst, who asked not to be identified, said, "The only potential negative involves industrial production numbers, which could potentially slow employment growth, which would mean some people have less discretionary income to spend on higher-margin items."
In addition to the consumer confidence index, other positive indicators last week included the Future Spending Index from Retail Forward, Columbus, Ohio, which rose to 99.1 after hitting a low of 96.6 in May.
"I think what it shows is that consumers are settling into a nice, stable spending pattern," Steve Spiwak, economist, Retail Forward, told SN.
Although he said near-term prospects for consumer spending at retail in general were solid, he noted that "for the supermarket channel, the benefits might not be as pronounced" because of competition in the sector from Wal-Mart and others.