Shoppers stack up savings with tax holiday

CNJ Staff Photo: Andy DeLisle
Patricia Jimenez of Clovis shops at Randy’s Shoes for her sons Michael, 8, left, and Javier, 4, right, on Saturday. The family was using the tax holiday to save on back-to-school shopping.

By Bryant Million: Freedom Newspapers

Bargain hunters flocked to Clovis and Portales stores this weekend to take advantage of the state’s second tax-free holiday weekend.

Randy Dayhoff, owner of Randy’s Shoes, said his store has done really well during previous tax holidays with customers looking for back-to-school items or even just back-to-work shoes.

“It (tax-free holiday) gives people a chance to save a little money. It’s good for the customers and it’s also just as good for us.”

Stacy Mitchell said she came to Randy’s Shoes to buy back-to-school shoes for her 4-year old son. She also planned on shopping at the North Plains Mall and Joe’s Boot Shop.

“I think it’s just great,” Mitchell said. “It helps to save every bit.”

Mitchell said they have previously done back-to-school shopping in Albuquerque, but because of high gas prices lately she decided to stay and shop in Clovis.

Shoes for back-to-school were just some of the items being sold Saturday at the Foot Locker location in North Plains Mall. Store manager Kenneth Walker said business was better than most weekends, and certainly better than last year’s tax holiday, which allows customers to buy clothing without paying local and state taxes.

“It’s a lot better that last year, because most people didn’t know,” Walker said. “Now that they know the rules (of the discounts), a lot more people are coming in.”
Along with shoes, Walker said people were stocking up on mix-and-match T-shirts at a rate of five for $19.99. Walker said the staff was pushing their free discount “VIP” program, and many people already in the program saved up coupons — i.e. $10 off a $50 purchase — and stacked them onto weekend deals.

Leslie Creighton, co-owner of Creighton’s Town and Country store in Portales, said Friday they are doing much better with their clothing sidewalk sale than last year.
“Last year people didn’t know what all we had for sale, but this year we have had more advertising so it’s been better … Many people went to Texas (last year), but due to gas prices more are staying home (this year).”

Ralph Bell, the assistant store manager at Sears, said the crowds swept into Sears as soon as the doors opened Friday morning.

“Jeans are the big selling item because they are all on sale,” Bell said. “A lot of people are taking advantage of this holiday not just for back-to-school, but just for themselves.”

Bell said August is Sears’ third largest month of the year in sales volume behind December and November.

“It’s fantastic! It’s like our Thanksgiving sale in the summer,” Bell said.

Pac Sun manager Shane Chapman said jeans and T-shirts were the fastest items to sell with a few weeks left to enjoy the summer.

“It’s still hot here, so people aren’t buying the fleece yet,” said Chapman, who added that about 75 percent of his store’s Friday sales came after 5 p.m. and expected a similar pattern on Saturday.

The discount also applied to computers less than $1,000 and computer equipment less than $500. The Clovis Wal-Mart was ready Saturday, with stacks of $398 Compaq Presario computers in the electronics department and impulse clothing items like socks and underwear near the checkout lines.

Clovis resident Cindy Thompson — who has three children attending Clovis schools — said she thought the holiday was a really good thing and is taking advantage by buying them jeans, clothes, shoes and backpacks.

“Last year we went to Lubbock, but (North Plains Mall) is offering just as good as deals here in New Mexico. And gas prices are just too high.”

The sale ends today.

— CNJ Staff Writer Kevin Wilson contributed to this report.