Retail ‘holiday' busy

Published 5:06 am Monday, August 6, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news reporter
Retailers in Brewton and East Brewton were singing a happy tune Friday as cash registers rang up back-to-school items.
Howard's business activity was mimicked around town as a steady stream of shoppers moved in and out area stores during the tax holiday weekend. The holiday period began at 12:01 a.m. on Friday morning and will continue through 11:59 p.m. today.
Other retailers around town have also seen an increased amount of traffic as the tax holiday weekend began.
Willis said he left the store during the lunch hour on Friday and found the traffic around town to be heavier than normal.
Local retailers said their stores will observe regular hours for the remainder of the tax holiday period.
Fred's in East Brewton will be open from noon until 6 p.m. Wal-Mart will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., the store's usual hours.
Shoppers still have time to take advantage of a sales tax break on qualifying purchases for back-to-school items. Those items include clothing and shoes priced $100 or lower; school supplies priced at $50 or less; books valued at $30 or less; and computers and computer equipment with a selling price of $750 or less.
According to the Alabama Retail Association, 235 cities and counties have also waived their sales taxes with 41 cities and counties are joining the holiday for the first time.
Brewton is taking part in the weekend, but Escambia County's 1-cent tax will remain because the majority of that money benefits schools.
The average family with school-aged children is expected to spend $557.26 on back-to-school items, according to the Association.
The sales tax holiday is open to everyone, not just those going back to school. Sales tax collections in August 2006 rose 10.4 percent over the previous August.
For retailers, the volume of business they do the weekend can come in right behind their after Thanksgiving or after Christmas sales periods.