As gas prices continue to rise, shoppers will be looking to save big during the 8th Annual Tax Free weekend. The holiday kicks off Thursday at midnight and NewsChannel 11's Suleika Acosta shows us what we can expect.
The South Plains Mall is expecting about 150,000 people to shop this weekend. Places like Wal-Mart and Target are also expecting big crowds. But some shoppers say they plan to spend less money than they have in the past. "This weekend is as much an event as it is a savings," says Representative Cheri Isett.
Retailers and shoppers alike are gearing up for the big sales tax holiday this weekend. State Representative Isett says the annual event benefits both groups. "When the retailers kick in as well and come in with the big sales and allow families to get goods at better rates, that's good for the Texas economy," says Isett.
Now, more than ever, shoppers are looking for relief as they feel the pinch from high prices at the pump. "It just saves a little money and it's a good time to get it done," says Misty Goodwin. She's one mom who plans to return to the mall this weekend in hopes of saving on back to school clothes for her kids. But she says high gas prices will affect how much money she spends. "It's throwing off my whole budget, I can't spend as much as I would because I have to keep that in mind," adds Misty.
"We haven't seen an increase yet or impact on sales or traffic yet," explains Beth Bridges with South Plains Mall. She says gas prices haven't affected business just yet. Instead, she thinks this weekend is a good time for shoppers to find some relief. "It's a good time to come out and get a discount that you don't normally get and save a little money when we're having to spend more in other areas," says Bridges.
"We've got shoes, several pair, we need more shirts, already bought jeans," says Deidra McNutt. She's just one shopper we found finishing up early to avoid the crowds and the savings all together. "It's just not worth the hassle and fighting the crowds," she says.
If you do plan to brave the crowds, you're urged to shop early. Again, the holiday starts Thursday at midnight and ends Sunday at midnight. By the way, the mall is featuring special hours through the weekend. They will be open from 9am to 10pm on Friday and Saturday and from 11am to 7pm on Sunday.
Here's a bonus, you can shop tax-free online this weekend as long as you have it shipped to Texas immediately.
Don't forget, not all items will be tax-free. School supplies will still be taxed. Accessories, jewelry, electronics and certain athletic gear are also excluded. However, most clothing items and footwear under $100 will be tax-free. That could add up to savings of $8 for every $100 you spend.
Click here for a complete list of exempt and non-exempt items.
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