Back to school is shaping up to mean back to basics -- and that could spell back to the drawing board for the retail sector.

While investors have been eagerly awaiting the back-to-school season, hoping it will spur consumer shopping, new evidence suggests they may be disappointed.

According to a Deloitte survey released today, 64% of shoppers plan to spend less on back-to-school items due to economic fears, along with higher prices for gas, food and home energy.

Apparel will be hit the hardest, with a whopping 81% saying they will pare down purchases. This doesn't bode well for specialty retailers like

Abercrombie & Fitch

(ANF) - Get Report


American Eagle Outfitters

(AEO) - Get Report

, with the bulk of their businesses relying on the all-important shopping season.

And while retailers are attempting to wean consumers off sale items, shoppers are not biting. About 74% of those surveyed said they will be waiting for sales.

Shoppers -- about 39% of them -- are also skimping on paper, pencils and notebooks, and only 29% cited office supply stores are their go-to destination. This means







Office Depot

(ODP) - Get Report

could be facing a hard school-year.

There will be


winners during back-to-school, most notably discounters like

Wal-Mart Stores

(WMT) - Get Report



(TGT) - Get Report


Costco Wholesale

(COST) - Get Report

. About 90% of those surveyed said they would do the bulk of their shopping at discounters and value department stores, while 40% will go to dollar stores like

99 Cents Only Stores



Copyright 2009 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.