LAS VEGAS — As local school kids headed back to class on Monday, retailers poured into WWDMAGIC to do their own homework. Their assignment: A first look at spring 2003 and a read on what’s checking in during an otherwise lackluster back-to-school season.

August used to be "our big back-to-school month," said Amy Snyder, buyer for Cohoes, a boutique in Cohoes, NY, who looked for items for her growing plus-size junior business. "I see it shifting. A lot of kids wait to get to school to see what their peers are wearing."

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