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Tax free weekend brings out shoppers

Shoppers stayed at home during the tax free weekend and bought school supplies and clothing during the weekend, according to local merchants.--Desiree Taylor photo

Back-to-school the children go.

But before students cracked open a schoolbook, flipped through a new composition notebook or sharpened a No. 2 pencil, some of them spent their last days of summer shopping, during the weekend’s “Tax Free” Holiday.

Students and parents didn’t even have to leave the city for supplies, and many department stores in Selma are thankful for that.

“ This wasn’t a typical weekend for us,” said Mark Jenkins, general manager of Belk department store, Selma. “A lot of people came out Friday, Saturday and Sunday to support their local store, and it was a success. It was really good to see the promise of an economic revival in this area.”

Selma City schools started Monday and county schools start today.

Dorothy Black, manager of Shoe Department, believes the store’s layaway policy and varied prices is what made the difference in this weekend’s success.

“We’ve sold-out of everything school related, like book bags and school shoes,” she said. “Customers from surrounding counties came in to shop, which was great and, I think because we have a variety, that’s what attracts people to us, which helps a lot.”

Adrienne Cunningham, lead sales associate of Dollar General store on Dallas Avenue, felt the holiday should’ve been earlier.

“Most people shop early for school supplies,” said Cunningham. “I think our store had more success last year, and it would’ve been better if more people came out this year.”

Charie Hamilton, mother of three, stayed in town this year for her shopping. She agrees “the early bird gets the worm” when it comes to back-to-school items.

“Uniform shoes — getting black or brown, are the hardest to find,” she said. “By the time the tax free holiday comes, there’s not a big selection and there are limited supplies, so I usually shop early to get it out of the way.”

Tax Free Holiday began Friday and ended on Sunday. Other states, including, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Vermont have their own separate holidays.

Bill’s Variety Wholesalers, Inc, Wal-Mart, Maxway Store, and Fred’s Hometown Discount Store, said any comments on their behalf would have to come from corporate offices.