Stores hope for better sales through S.C. tax-free weekend

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 5:52 PM EDT
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Many students are not returning to school in-person this year, but tax-free weekend in South Carolina is still happening.

But this year's sales might look a little different for small businesses.

Back to school is here, but supplies might not be flying off shelves like usual.

"I mean we've seen some, some dips in the last couple months," Catherine Gouge, the manager for Pitter Patter Children's Boutique, said. "Some dips and some highs."

South Carolina’s tax-free weekend is the perfect time for parents to buy everything needed for back-to-school.

According to the state Department of Revenue, shoppers have saved between $2-3 million during the holiday. But this year, more students are staying home for school which means local businesses are losing out on sales.

"We would think that this time of year that we would be seeing more school bags selling and such and we're not really seeing that," said Jodi Powell, the owner of Aiken Embroidery and Design.

Powell says shes seen a big impact in her book-bag sales.

"I would think that we would be selling you know 50 to 100. And we're, we're selling maybe 10 to 15."

Gouge's Pitter Patter is a few steps down from her store. Gouge says they expect this year to be out of the ordinary.

"It will be a little different this year, but we keep reminding people that you kids still have to get up and get dressed, whether it's virtual learning or other kinds of learning, so you still need some basic things for sure," Gouge said.

But the Staples in Aiken says they've seen an increase in electronic sales, which they believe is linked to kids learning from home.

Either way, kids will need some supplies and the local business say they're not too worried about a small loss in business.

We're lucky to be in a small town that's been so supportive through all this and this year's a little different but we're just figuring out day by day," Gouge said.

For anyone who doesn’t want to get out and shop this weekend, the Revenue Department wants to remind shoppers that items will still be tax-free if you shop online.

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