red white and blue polo shirts Lots of shopping and things of that nature headline
Shoppers took to Denton County stores to take advantage of special sales this past weekend without having to pay about 8 percent of qualifying sales to state and local governments for the Lone Star State’s annual tax free weekend.
Golden Triangle Mall in Denton was buzzing on Sunday, the last day of the state’s sales tax holiday on most purchases of clothing, shoes and school supplies. Many patrons were looking to get some last minute shopping done before school starts, and lots of people were hoping to find some good deals and skip out on paying the government for a few things.
Around the mall there were buy one, get one deals, 40 and 50 percent discounts and more on clothes, backpacks, school supplies, shoes and other items. Not everything was free from the clutches of government sales taxes, but a lot of it was.
While children played on a stage in the mall and parents sat to gather their composure from extended periods of sifting through hangers of clothes, one man sat among many, lifting the spirits of several.
Heath Lindsay, a 19 year old incoming College of Music freshman at the University of North Texas, wove a cover of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” much to the delight of at least three different gracious tippers who dumped their appreciations into his tip jar. Lindsay plays the mall’s piano for several hours most weekends and says the mall was noticeably busier than normal for tax free weekend.
So, did that mean more tips than normal for him?
“I wish,” he said. Sunday. With their goal originally set at $8,000, they did well, selling out of a few sizes of shoes.
“Other than that, we were pretty well stocked with everything,” Belton said, dashing between positions behind the cashier counter and atop a ladder.
The busiest day was Saturday, he said,
and the most popular items at his store seemed to be shoes and backpacks. He said he noticed lots of shoppers paid with $100 bills over the weekend.
On one of the other ends of the mall, at a popular entrance with lots of foot traffic, store manager Kathleen Schaefer was at the helm of the Barnes Noble bookstore, steadily maneuvering from customer to customer, solving problems and making sales.
“We get business that’s school related kind of all summer,” she said. “Kids operate in a pattern. It’s kind of funny.”
Schaefer said she’s been working at the Denton Barnes Noble location for six years, and worked for the company for 25 years total. With plenty tax free weekends behind her, she’s learned some tricks of the trade and recurring patterns for back to school shoppers.
From her experience, she said she’s often seen that at the beginning of summer, kids and their parents will flock to the bookstore ready to get a head start on summer reading assignments. There’s a midsummer break, when people aren’t too worried about their summer school shopping, and then things pick back up right around tax free weekend for a special reason.
“In the beginning of August, right where we’re at right now, every kiddo who procrastinated comes in very urgently and says, ‘I have to read this. School starts at (insert X time here),'” she said. “And then the first week after school has started, true panic for the people who put it off absolutely last, last minute sets in.”
For now, though, she and her workers are mostly dealing with customers who are simply there to enjoy themselves and maybe find a good deal or two on some things for their children. Those customers included Dave Begnoche, a Denton resident who was out shopping Sunday with his son who will be going into second grade.
He found some books his son would enjoy and had found good deals on clothes earlier that weekend. He said he’s supportive of tax free weekends like this one.
“I think it’s a great initiative by the state. It gives families the opportunities to pick up things that are going to be needed,” Begnoche said.
“Stores seem to do a good job of packaging a lot of sales in conjunction [with each other],” he said, “which really helps out families.”
KYLE MARTIN can be reached at 940 566 6897.
FEATURED PHOTO: Shoppers scope out sales at Golden Triangle Mall for tax free weekend. The sales tax holiday ran from Friday to Sunday. Shoppers got a break from 8.25 percent sales taxes that applied to certain school supplies,
shoes and clothing. Jeff Woo/DRC