Retailers prepared for tax free holiday - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Retailers prepared for tax free holiday

August 2, 2007

Albany--Today is the first day of Georgia's tax free holiday. And stores are expected to be extra busy as shoppers take full advantage of many tax-free school supplies.

As Thursday's tax free holiday kicks into gear, many retailers can sum up the event with one word."

"Nuts! From the time we open the door until the time we close," says Staples General Manager Pat Wilks who has prepared for this day for weeks now.

"The biggest thing we've been doing around this store is making sure all of our freight is out, that our shelves are stocked with the merchandise. We'll order a lot of computers, a lot of lab tops for kids going back to college," she says.

School supplies valued under $20 and computer equipment under $1500 are all exempt from any sales tax starting today.

"Pencils, folders erasers, anything that you can think of that kids would need for school. The graphing calculators are usually big items," she says.

School supplies aren't the only items tax free. Shoes and clothing valued at $100 or less are also tax free. But there are a few exceptions. Items like umbrellas, wallets, and pocket books don't make the list.

Even with those few exceptions, Wilks expects shoppers to still spend big. During the holiday last year, her own customers spent:

"$400 or $500 dollars easy," she says.

And as shoppers flock to stores in search of a good bargain, she warns customers:

"Just be patient. You need to expect longer checkout lines," she says.

While retailers plan to extra busy over the next few days, Wilks says her employees are ready for it.

"They know that it's going to be busy. People are going to be a little frazzled. And we've prepared them to deal with that," she says.

The tax free holiday runs from August 2nd through August 5th.

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