Shoppers braving tax-free weekend

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David Minton/DRC
Shoppers flock to the school supply section of Denton’s SuperTarget on Loop 288 on Saturday, during the state’s annual tax-free weekend. Most school supplies, clothing, shoes and backpacks are exempt from sales tax through today.

Some say they don’t like crowds, but they’re still ready to buy supplies

“You want a Lego notebook?” Jennifer Radcliff asked her son Corwin as they shopped for school supplies at SuperTarget on Saturday.

“Yes,” the second-grader said.

Radcliff said she hadn’t planned to be there for Texas’ annual tax-free shopping weekend, which started Friday and continues through today. The weekend means shoppers don’t have to pay sales tax on most school supplies, clothing, shoes and backpacks priced less than $100.

The Radcliffs had stopped by the Denton store on Loop 288 to get a lunchbox, which her husband forgot to pick up Friday when he did most of the back-to-school shopping, Radcliff said.

“I try to avoid crowds,” she said. She was surprised Target wasn’t more crowded.

Aubry Vance, a Target manager, said the store has had a steady flow of people coming in, especially to get school supplies. The other big seller over the weekend has been dorm supplies, Vance said.

Sales tax for Denton shoppers is 8.25 percent. With the exemption, shoppers save $8.25 for every $100 they spend.

The average parent will spend about $688.62 on children in kindergarten through 12th grade, which is up from last year, according to a National Retail Federation back-to-school survey. Nationwide, back-to-school spending is expected to total $30.3 billion, according to the survey.

Down the road from Target, Golden Triangle Mall shoppers were offered an extra hour to shop Friday, Saturday and today.

Sears was opening two hours early and closed two hours later than normal over the weekend. 

Matt Ludemann, the mall manager, said he didn’t notice a huge increase in traffic during the extra hour, but he’ll get feedback from the stores at the end of the weekend. There has been steady traffic the rest of the time, he said.

Sharon McFarlane was shopping Saturday for her great-grandchildren.

“I’ve been here every year,” she said of the tax-free weekend, now in its 13th year. While she was in Arkansas, she took part of that state’s sales tax holiday, which is in its second year.

McFarlane usually shops on Friday because it is less busy but decided to go out Saturday with her granddaughters and great-granddaughters.

“I love it,” she said. However, she added, sales were not what they have been in previous years.

Julie and Michael Hydock stopped by the mall to get ballet and tap dance gear for their daughter, Samantha, who is going into first grade.

They hadn’t planned to come out for the tax-free weekend and weren’t going to stop if the mall looked crowded, Julie Hydock said.

RACHEL MEHLHAFF can be reached at 940-566-6889. Her e-mail address is rmehlhaff@dentonrc.com.


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