Stores bracing for tax-free weekend rush

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Megan Neighoff, Brown’s Shoe Fit sales associate, prepares a sandal display Tuesday at the store on Main Street in preparation for the tax-free holiday this weekend.

Liliana Castillo

New Mexico’s annual tax-free holiday is this weekend and local and corporate businesses in Clovis and Portales are stocking up to deal with the rush.

For Friday, Saturday and Sunday, New Mexico shoppers get a break from gross receipts tax on:

• all clothing and shoes under $100

• school supplies under $15

• computers under $1,000

• computer equipment under $500.

The weekend is intended to give residents a chance to save money on much needed school supplies and clothing for the upcoming school year, which starts in Clovis on Aug. 12 and Portales on Aug. 16.

Wal-Mart stores in both Clovis and Portales are hoping for a 30 percent increase in their sales.

Frank Bean, manager of Clovis’ store, said customers are smart about their shopping.

“They’ll be in here. They know what they need to buy,” he said.

Bean said the store has large quantities of clothing and basics such as underwear and socks which will be tax free this weekend. Bean said school supplies have been out in the store for a month and school clothes for more than a week.

North Plains Mall Manager Cindy Bannister said the tax-free holiday is the mall’s second busiest time, after the winter holiday shopping season.

Bannister said the mall has not felt any negative effects from the economy and is continuing to see sales increases.

Brown’s Shoe Fit Company, formerly Randy’s Shoes, on Main Street in Clovis is offering tax free on their entire stock and also Brown’s Workboot Store.

“This is a big weekend for us,” said Manager Scott Crowley.

Crowley purchased the store four months ago so this will be his first tax-free weekend in New Mexico.

Joe Rhodes, owner of Joe’s Boot Shop, has been offering no tax storewide for 25 years.

“It’s good for our customers, it’s great for us,” he said.

Rhodes said sales will increase between 25 to 30 percent on Friday and Saturday. The store isn’t open on Sunday.

Texas’ tax-free holiday is Aug. 20-22.