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Stores plan more deals on sales-tax-free weekend

Posted July 29, 2008

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— Some retailers are planning more sales to coincide with the state sales-tax-free holiday this weekend.

Stores at Durham's Northgate Mall are planning big sales to attract more shoppers. Northgate Mall Marketing Director Paula Harris characterized the sales as an effort to generate shopper “momentum” to the mall just before back-to-school shopping begins.

Some stores at The Streets at Southpoint in Durham are planning sales. Managers said, however, that the sales are not a result of a drop in retail business because of the economy.

“It’s more like we really want to offer some value to the customer. It’s the end of the season. Last year, we had a tremendous weekend,” said Bruno Roth, manager of Macy’s at Southpoint.

Roth said he expects Saturday to bring the highest sales of the summer season.

The sluggish economy and high gas prices have forced shoppers like Julianne Broomfield to re-think her purchases.

“It’s definitely made me think twice about whether I really need something or not,” Broomfield said.

Nonetheless, retail sales are slightly up from this time last year, according to the National Retail Federation.

Stores like Target are trying to capitalize on what has worked in the past by marking down back-to-school items this weekend.

“We are designated as what is considered one of the freaky stores simply because of the big amount of sales we do with back-to-school and back-to-college,” Target Manager Friedrich Rochleder said.

Regardless of which reason for sales they espouse, retailers are looking for a day with profits similar to the day after Thanksgiving.

“I’ve been in this business 25 years, and I think (that) this year of all years, if it hasn’t been a Black Friday, I think it will be this year,” Harris said.

Black Friday is a good term in retailing, referring to the day after Thanksgiving, when retailers look for shoppers to move them into the black for the year.

The sales tax holiday weekend begins Friday.Items exempt from sales tax this weekend include clothing, sports equipment and some school supplies.

The National Retail Federation estimates the average American will spend $594 on back-to-school shopping. More than $230 will be spent on clothing, $151 on electronics and $110 on shoes. The average person will spend less than $100 on actual school supplies.

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  • mpheels Jul 30, 2008

    You don't have to have kids to save $$, clothes, office supplies, and computers for adults are tax free too. I do agree with momx2 that each individual should really consider how much they'll save compared to potential extra driving and crowds. Personally, I do most of my shopping on the weekends anyway so it won't use extra gas this weekend, and crowds/lines/rudeness don't bother me that much...

    As for the year round complaints - you could take advantage now and save for next summer. You may not know the exact list for the next school year, but some things are standard and they won't spoil in 10 months. Tax free weekend isn't a new event, if the few cents savings is that important you could have purchased the bare minimum to make it through until this weekend and finished the shopping now.

  • ThisIsMyName Jul 30, 2008

    The sales have been going on for a long time now. Stores are struggling. Tax free really isn't that big of a deal anyway. If you don't pay it now, you'll pay it later.

  • momx2 Jul 30, 2008

    You do not have to have kids to save. However look at this way. If you are already at town today (not a tax free time) and you spend $500 you will spend an additional $35 on tax. Now if you go this weekend you will have to spend extra on gas, put up with rude people, horrible crowds, wait in long lines, and the list could go on and on. So is $35 worth the difference. I think not. I shop a small amount each pay period and buy a little all along. Then I don't have to spend the extra time and gas to have my kids or self exposed to the rudeness, and I don't have to spend the extra gas. I don't think you really save any. Placed like Walmart start sales early anyway like the .05 notebooks and .22 glue and crayons. Why expose yourself or your kids. Think about it. Is it worth it!

  • 1trhl Jul 30, 2008

    Does the "computer storage device" for $250 or less apply to MP3 players?

  • Space Mountain Jul 30, 2008

    How about a tax free weekend on things everyone needs, like food? Why do you have to have kids in school to catch a break?

  • bs101fly Jul 30, 2008

    we're already in school, myr prison, so we don't need a tax free weekend, you're too late. JUST ANOTHER example of inequality with education in Wake COunty THANKS to the Del/Dulaney personal agenda managed by 9 of the most self-centered to EVER sit on the school board! Ain't that right Rosa!!!

  • NCTeacher Jul 29, 2008

    I will actually go to Wal Mart and take advantage to buy some school supplies to keep in my classroom. I think I am going to need a new lunchbox and some new dress clothes to wear too. The crowds really aren't that bad if you time it right- hit the mall as soon as it opens or hit Wal-Mart late in the night.

  • oldschooltarheel Jul 29, 2008

    No tax ought to be the rule - not the exception. Most of our politicians & guvmint admin/ "managers" need to get real jobs.

  • allison842 Jul 29, 2008

    Is that really this weekend? I'd like to save on some clothes, but I'm not messing with the crowds. Some things just aren't worth it! It's awesome though for people who need to buy computers and other expensive things. No tax is quite a blessing.

  • Crystal Jul 29, 2008

    It doesn't help all the families that have to go to year round schools and our school supplies which have already been bought. Why isn't there now a tax free weekend for us or at least move the date?

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