Busy mom Robbie Dye, of Jacksonville, rolled into Tyler bright and early Saturday for a marathon shopping spree designed to take advantage of the state’s sales-tax holiday weekend.
Texas’ sales tax holiday started Friday and ends today. Shoppers have until midnight to buy school supplies, clothing, shoes and backpacks priced at less than $100 and pay no state or local sales taxes, officials said.
This means shoppers like Ms. Dye can save about $8 for every $100 they spend.
Her fourth-grader, Bethanee, and eighth-grade twins, Harlee and Haylee, seemed pleased with their mom’s diligence and shopping savvy.
“I’m most excited about my Aeropostale jacket and my Sperry shoes,” Haylee said, prompting agreement from her sister: “Me, too.”
“I want to stay a long time,” Bethanee added
State officials said the sales tax holiday weekend has grown in popularity since 1999 when it was first offered.
“It presents a wonderful opportunity for parents to make sure their children are well-stocked with the supplies and clothing they need to start the school year on a positive note,” Ronnie Volkening, president and CEO of the Texas Retailers Association, said in a statement. “Additionally, Texas retailers are providing great bargains on popular items throughout their stores, providing even greater saving opportunities for Texas families this weekend.”
Local officials also seemed enthusiastic about the occasion, because people don’t stop at buying just clothes and shoes.
Nor do they shop just on this special weekend, officials said.
Retailers see the sales tax holiday as a win-win, for customers and for their bottom line.
Terry Blevins, Broadway Square Mall general manager, said many merchants rolled out special deals for the occasion, some offering extended hours for shopping convenience.
“Our traffic this year seems to be more than last,” he said. “People seem to be buying the brightly colored tennis shoes and sneakers. A lot of people are also buying uniforms and backpacks for their kids.”
Many customers took advantage of the extra shopping hours.
“Last night we got pretty close to fire code,” Old Navy operations manager Sam Holland said Saturday, citing the 450-person maximum for the mall store. “There were a lot of people. A lot of people were buying school uniforms.”
Old Navy was among the businesses that opened early throughout the weekend, offering separates for $5 with special deals on denim.
Shannon Brackett of Chandler and son, Hunter, were among those who ventured out for a little shopping adventure in Tyler, but not out of necessity.
“I did all my shopping in one weekend, so we’re finished,” she said Saturday outside JCPenney, 4401 S. Broadway Ave. “We came out because JCPenney is giving away free haircuts this month. We’re just looking.”
Hunter, who will enter sixth grade at Chandler Intermediate School with a trendy new haircut, seemed grateful there wasn’t a sense of urgency mixed in their time together.
“Yes, it’s nice,” he said. “We can relax and then head back home.”