Meridian Star

July 23, 2013

Tax-free days help boost clothing, shoe sales

By Terri Ferguson Smith /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Shoppers are expected to hit the stores later this week for the annual Sales Tax Holiday.  

    The  tax-free holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and ends at midnight on Saturday, saving shoppers from having to pay state sales taxes on clothing and footwear items which cost less than $100 per item.

    Doris Bigbee, manager of Burke's Outlet in Meridian, said she expects to see about a 40 percent increase in sales over the two-day period.

    "It increases our sales tremendously," Bigbee said. "It helps sales very well."

    Bigbee said most of their items are already priced under a $100. They will prepare for the extra customers, she said, having additional staffing and additional security. They will also be well-stocked with the items shoppers are seeking.

    "We try to make sure we have all the back to school items available. We have school uniform clothes and we have collegian wear for kids going to college," Bigbee said.

    They also stock some of the popular brands such as Rugged Earth, Polo and Hello Kiddies, she said.

    The store is usually open 9 a.m. until 9 p.m, but will be open extra hours on Friday and Saturday, from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.

    Doyle Pierce of Liberty Shop said it is a very busy time for the store.

    "People are spending a lot of money on back to school items," Pierce said. "We have some extra help for those days because we try to get our customers exactly what they want. Sometimes we he have to double up, but we like to give one-on-one service."

    The store usually is open 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., but he expects to have extended hours on Friday and Saturday.

    Popular school uniform brands, K12, Universal and Classroom are available, he said.

    The shop has a package deal for $99.99 which includes between four and five tops and bottoms, depending upon the child's size.

    "For a family with three or four kids," he said, "it adds up. They do save a good bit and we have a lot of people who wait for that weekend.

    Clothing and footwear items meant to be worn next to the body, such as pants, shirts, shoes, blouses, dresses, socks and underwear, that cost less than $100 per item, are exempt from sales tax during this period, according to the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

    Accessories such as jewelry, handbags, wallets, watches, backpacks, and similar items do not qualify for the Sales Tax Holiday. Cleats and items worn in conjunction with an athletic or recreational activity are other sample items not eligible.     School supplies and computers are not included.

    Three towns in the state — Crenshaw, Enterprise and Heidelberg — are not participating in the sales tax holiday, according to the Revenue Department. Businesses in those towns will be charging the 7 percent sales tax.