|Stores gear up for tax holiday
Tax-free weekend will begin at midnight Friday, and local stores are
gearing up for what will likely be a boost in customer traffic
throughout the three-day span.
The sales tax holiday will run through 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Items that can
be purchased tax free include clothing with a purchase price of no more
than $100, school supplies of $100 or less and computers of $1,500 or
less, according to the Tennessee Department of Revenue.
To prepare for the sales push, Walmart co-manager Tracey Duncan said
school supplies were delivered six weeks in advance. “We’ve so many
associates that are going to be filling this area, multiple times a day
for tax free (weekend),” Duncan said of the school supplies aisle,
adding the sales tax holiday is “key” for the store’s staffing and
Duncan said lists were delivered from the school systems about four
weeks ago, which were printed out and placed in front of the store for
parents to pick up. Next to the lists are bags packed with an assortment
of school supplies.
“They kind of like put these (supply bags) together for the schools and
the key items and having them already ready,” Duncan said. “There are
different things. So it’s got different things. It’s dependent upon the
school list, so it’s already prepared.”
Loudon County Education Foundation Executive Director Michele Lewis said
those supply bags can be donated to the LCEF Stuff the Bus, a school
supplies drive that occurs over tax-free weekend and goes toward both
Lenoir City and Loudon County schools.
“I mean this is something that this store does amazing with because it’s
ready for the customer to donate,” Duncan said. “If they want to do like
this and just donate anything.”
Big Lots in Lenoir City store manager Lane Kellam said school supply
lists could be found online. The local retail store already has a
back-to-school section set up inside, and has prepared a couple weeks in
advance for the eventual school supplies rush, he said.
“I mean it’s just a regular weekend for us. I mean no other than Black
Friday (sales) or anything like that,” Kellam said of the tax sales
Kellam said he did expect a “little bit” higher than usual count of
customer traffic over the weekend.
Walmart department manager Misty Herman said the two busiest days of the
weekend are Friday and Saturday. “Usually the parents will come in right
after the school, and that’s when they’re coming in getting their stuff,
and then Saturday morning all the way through late in the evening, and
then it’s like that Sunday after church,” Herman said. “On Sunday,
you’ll have a few of your last stragglers that come in, but yeah, your
Friday night and your Saturday will be the biggest. Saturday is the
As a parent, Lewis said the sales tax holiday makes a “really big
difference” in allowing for her child to be ready for the school year.
She said one minor complaint she has is the tax-free weekend should be
moved up “a little bit” to account for some schools inching closer to a
“Other than that it’s an absolute advantage for each parent and every
student when you’re purchasing needed supplies for your kids, or when
you’re even making a donation,” Lewis said. “It’s an amazing way to
encourage people to contribute to the needs of the school is to lower
the prices just a little bit.”
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