Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

August 13, 2013

Tax-free weekend shopping turnout was at a moderate – not frantic – pace

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — Some store managers had feared the current state of the economy might dampen the enthusiasm Texas shoppers traditionally have for the tax-free weekend.

As it turns out, the annual sales tax holiday turnout this past weekend was fairly steady – although certainly not overwhelming.

This holiday, enacted by the Texas Legislature, exempted most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100 from sales and use taxes. It saved Texas shoppers as much as $8.25 for every $150 spent.

Superstore Wal-Mart, in particular, reported a steady crowd of Jacksonville customers looking for “back to school” items.

“I wasn't actually here during the weekend, but from what I saw Monday, we did pretty good,” said Derek Schmid, manager at the local Wal-Mart. “I'd say it was probably about normal. It's always kind of hit or miss. There are different items and different priorities each year.”

One very in-demand item was the weekend manuscript writing tablet, Deena Tarsley, second assistant manager at Jacksonville's Family Dollar store, said Sunday.

Fairly quickly into the weekend, that particular became scarce, she said.

“We ran out of them early and people were having a hard time finding them around town,” Tarsley said.

The crowds Tarsley saw weren't overwhelming but fairly steady.

“The crowds were okay,” she said Sunday evening. “They weren't big by any means. They were decent.”

Rebecca Ryan, store manager at the local Bealls, was not immediately available to comment but in an earlier interview had indicated she had expected several regular customers to grace the store on tax-free weekend.

Paul White, chief of the Jacksonville Fire Department said he knew of no accidents or traffic mishaps caused by any overzealous shopping – or shoppers.

“Nothing like that happened that we're aware of,” the fire chief said.