With summer coming to a close and fall rapidly approaching, many students and parents inevitably have back-to-school shopping in mind. Whether it’s new backpacks, fresh pencils, art supplies, after-school snacks, or a wardrobe freshening up, the pre-September shopping list to prepare for school can get long quickly. Luckily, we’ve compiled a guide to help make shopping for school as easy as possible. We took a look at some of our local Essex County businesses — from school supplies to clothing and after-school activities — and rounded up some of our favorites to check out this back-to-school season. Read on to learn about our Essex County local business suggestions for back-to-school shopping.
Fleet Feet Montclair | 603 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair
“Fleet Feet Montclair is more than a running store,” this shop boasts. Fleet Feet has been owned and operated for 35 years and has selections for all of the active teens and adults in your life. For any athletes heading back to school, for those who want to stock up on gym clothes, or for anyone just looking to pick up a quality pair of shoes that can endure walking to and from school, the knowledgeable staff at Fleet Feet has got you covered.
Jerry’s Artist Outlet | 495 Prospect Avenue, West Orange
Jerry’s Artist Outlet is an artist supply store in West Orange with over 60,000 items. Let’s face it, young children always seem to need art supplies around for all the many artistic projects they get assigned in school. For the children who love drawing or painting in their free time after school — or for the rising art major — Jerry’s Artist Outlet has everything you need for all of your artistic endeavors.
J.T. Murdoch Shoes | 623 Bloomfield Avenue, Bloomfield
It’s so important to be well-dressed and comfy for the long school day. J.T. Murdoch Shoes has been providing the highest quality footwear and services since 1888. Today, J.T. Murdoch carries some of the most popular shoe collections such as Ugg, New Balance, Birkenstock, and more. If you’re looking for high-quality products and helpful staff, look no further than J.T. Murdoch. They’ll be sure to fit your children properly and leave them with some great new shoes for the school year.
Just Kidding Around | 507 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair
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Located in the heart of Montclair Center, Just Kidding Around is full of fun and games. In addition to toys, you’ll find collections of arts and craft supplies, educational games and puzzles, clothing, and more from infants up to age 12. We recommend Just Kidding Around for your after-school and weekend activities.
Laptop Upcycle | 60 S. Fullerton Avenue, Montclair
Shopping for new supplies can also mean clearing out last year’s devices. Laptop Upcycle is a Montclair-based division of HackNCraftNJ, Inc., and is committed to providing students with the tools and technology needed to succeed in school. Laptop Upcycle will recycle your technology and donate it to the students and families who need it. Whether you’re looking to donate or obtain this technology, visit the website for more information.
Little Ones | 20 E Mount Pleasant Avenue, Livingston
Little Ones has the cutest clothing styles for boys and girls from newborns to juniors. In addition to great styles for your kiddos, Little Ones also sells a great selection of clothing for school uniforms — taking the stress and hassle out of planning school outfits.
Montclair Book Center | 221 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair
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Reading is vital in education, especially during the school year. Montclair Book Center has been located in Montclair since 1984 and now includes three levels and two buildings full of books. With everything from classic literature to popular fiction (and even vintage vinyl!), you can be sure that you’re finding all of your school year reads at Montclair Book Center.
Montclair Stationery | 612 Valley Road, Montclair
School supplies, office supplies, stationery — oh my. Montclair Stationery was founded in 1993 and has been family-run ever since. When in need of a more traditional school-supply shopping experience, this is the spot to visit. This stationery store located in Upper Montclair has everything that you need — from backpacks to flash drives — to make sure students are prepared for every class.
Over the Moon | 619 Valley Road, Montclair
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You can ensure the kids are heading back to school in style at Over the Moon. Over the Moon is a delightful children’s clothing store that carries the best of American and European styles. This boutique carries girls’ clothing from infant to size 16 and boys to size 10. Don’t miss out on the shoes, toys, and books as well.
ShoeSector | 25 Church Street, Montclair
ShoeSector is a husband and wife-owned New Jersey-based shoe retailer that initially opened in Passaic and later moved into the heart of Montclair Center and into e-commerce. At ShoeSector, you’ll find great designer styles for the whole family — from toddlers to adults. This store has custom fittings and truly some of the coolest shoes for back to school.
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Toy Division | 101 Baker Street, Maplewood
This family-owned, independent toy retailer has a specialty in providing the community with products that have design in mind. Not only will you find unique gifts, toys, and games — Toy Division also carries a stunning collection of back-to-school products such as backpacks, lunch boxes, and ice packs.
Watchung Booksellers Dedicated Children’s Store | 44 Fairfield Street, Montclair
For any last-minute summer reading or to pick out books for the school year, this is a great local option. Watchung Booksellers is an independent community bookstore located in Watchung Plaza that recently just expanded to have a store dedicated entirely for children’s books. Not only will you find all of your school year reading, but check out some of the planners and calendars that will help you stay organized year-round.