Area shoppers out in force for sales tax holiday
by Patrick McCreless
Aug 04, 2013 | 2747 views |  0 comments | 61 61 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Back-to-school clothing from this leading local retailer was likely at the top of many school families' "to-do" lists. (Anniston Star photo by Shannon Tucker)
Back-to-school clothing from this leading local retailer was likely at the top of many school families' "to-do" lists. (Anniston Star photo by Shannon Tucker)
Local shoppers clogged roadways and retailers' checkout lines Saturday to take advantage of the annual state sales tax holiday.

Saturday was the second day of Alabama's back-to-school sales tax-free holiday and area retailers appeared to be benefiting with heavy shopper traffic. The tax-free holiday continues today.

Roadways to and from the Oxford Exchange were packed with motorists. Likewise, many of the parking lots at the Oxford Exchange were filled. The effect of the holiday was even more evident in stores like Old Navy, which had long lines at its cashier checkout stations and even at its dressing rooms.

Martin's Family Clothing in Oxford also appeared to be enjoying the tax-free holiday with steady foot traffic in and out of its front door Saturday afternoon.

Georgia resident Theresa White took advantage of Alabama's tax-free holiday this year while visiting family in the area. White said she'd rather shop in Alabama than Georgia.

"Georgia decided to do their tax holiday on the ninth and 10th and I'm not too happy about that," White said. "School's already started by then, so it doesn't really help."

White had bought packs of crayons and several notebooks for her two sons, who will enter the second and fifth grades this year.

"It does help some," White said of the tax-free holiday.

Shunquisha Caver of Oxford was with her mother at Burke's Outlet in Anniston Saturday, looking for clothes that fell in line with Oxford High School's dress code and save a little money from the tax-free holiday in the process.

"At Oxford, they have a dress code and it can be hard to find clothes that you can wear," Caver said.

Still, Caver, who will be a senior this year, did manage to find a couple of pairs of pants that met the dress code. Caver said she and her mother would likely go out today for another round of shopping.

According to the National Retail Federation, back-to-school shopping is the second biggest boost for retailers after the Christmas season. The federation estimates that back-to-school sales spurred on by sales tax suspensions will generate more than $26 billion in revenue for retailers across the U.S. this year.

According to the Alabama Retail Association, Alabama residents alone will spend about $1.08 billion during the tax-free holiday.

"Retailers are very excited about the tax-free holiday," said Nancy King Dennis, director of public relations for the Alabama Retail Association.

Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.
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