The sales tax holiday begins; stores are preparing for more buyers | Local
Orangeburg retailers expect larger crowds this sales tax exemption as shoppers seek savings amid rising prices.
The sales tax-free weekend begins Friday, August 5 and ends Sunday, August 7.
At Goldstein’s on Russell, a hot back-to-school item is expected to be clear book bags.
The bags are going to come in handy because the Orangeburg County School District now requires elementary school students to have clear book bags. Middle and high school students in the district are already required to have see-through book bags as part of a district-wide effort to improve safety.
Goldstein owner Jerry Hannah said he had a full stock of clear book bags.
“Get rid of book bags here,” Hannah said. “Not many people have it.”
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“A person came in here and said, ‘Atlanta is out,'” he continued. “That’s what I was told. They come to tell you.
It also has school uniforms, face masks, jackets, sweaters and more.
But he said supply shortages are a challenge.
“The key to all of this is that not only are clear book bags rare, but all school uniforms are rare,” he continued. “We have already ordered our sweaters and jackets for four weeks. We don’t know what to expect the date of this.
Hannah said almost all of the store’s merchandise will be tax-free because the store sells a lot of college merchandise.
He is ready for whatever the weekend may bring.
“A good crowd is to be expected,” he said. “Otherwise, then if you get one, you’re in bad shape. People are expected to come and shop in droves.
COVID limited shoppers last year, but “this year they’re in full bloom,” Hannah said.
“We expect the amount of sales to increase,” he said. “We are ready for that.”
During the sales tax exemption, qualifying items may be purchased online and in-store without paying 6% state sales tax and applicable local taxes.
Zero-rated items include computers, printers, school supplies, school bags, clothing and accessories, footwear, and certain bed and bath items. These zero-rated items may be new or used and are eligible regardless of price.
Items that are not zero-rated during the sales tax exemption include digital cameras, smartphones, jewelry, cosmetics, eyewear, wallets, watches, and furniture.
Last year, South Carolina shoppers bought more than $24.5 million worth of zero-rated items during the sales tax holiday
Alanda White, Jimmy Jazz store manager at the Prince of Orange Mall, expects more foot traffic this weekend.
“We’ve been pretty busy so far, so we’re expecting maybe a bit more traffic than we’ve had in the last two weeks,” White said. “The last two weeks have been very busy.”
There will be sales over the weekend and the store is increasing its staff.
“A lot of people are already shopping. We’re going to get more merchandise and kind of push what we’re trying to liquidate into our store,” he said.
Belk’s human resources manager, Demetrius Chisolm, said: “We are expecting a lot of people this weekend as we are normally busy at this time of year, especially this weekend.”
The store is hosting a Kids Fest event from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, including sweepstakes, coupon opportunities, kids’ activities, and sales on kids’ clothing, especially denim. There will also be refreshments.
Chisolm, who has worked at the store for four years, says the sales tax-free weekend is important to the store.
“It’s one of the most important weekends for us at this time of year,” he said. “We had a hiring event three weeks ago in preparation for this coming week. We are well equipped at the moment. It also prepares us for the holiday season. This is the kick-off.”
For a detailed list of duty-free items, shopping lists and FAQs, visit this story on TheTandD.com.
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