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Augusta Economy

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Sales-tax holiday helps back-to-school shoppers, retailers

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Six percent savings might not sound like much, but it was enough to draw Donald True and his family from Evans to shop at the North Augusta Office Depot on Friday.

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Nayleen Larios, 14, of Augusta, shops at athe Office Depot in North Augusta.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Nayleen Larios, 14, of Augusta, shops at athe Office Depot in North Augusta.

True is a 17-year-old senior at Lakeside High School and was one of many back-to-school shoppers taking advantage of South Carolina’s sales tax holiday this weekend.

“We’re going to do it all today,” he said. “We definitely could have done it the week before now, but we wanted to wait for the best deals.”

The savings add up when shopping for several kids, said his father, Donald True Sr. “For the amount of supplies we wind up getting, it does make a difference,” he said.

This weekend, Office Depot and other retailers are running special pricing designed to coincide with the sales tax holiday. True said the South Carolina stores also seem to be less picked-over than stores closer to their home in Evans.

“We’re just kind of trying to take advantage of both,” he said.

Nationwide, back-to-school spending is expected to reach upward of $83 billion this year, according to a survey published by the National Retail Federation. The average American household is expected to spend $907.22 on back-to-college supplies and $688.82 on back-to-school supplies, according to the study. That is a combined increase of about $200 per household from last year.

“When it comes to their children, there’s nothing more important to a parent than making sure their children have everything they need, even in a tough economy,” said the federation’s president and CEO, Matthew Shay.

The federation reported that parents will spend the most on clothing, accessories and electronics this summer. Despite the growth, 84.8 percent of parents said the economy will affect their spending in some way. Shay said the federation expects parents to buy the same amount of supplies but to search harder for bargains and sales.

“Backpacks rip, pencils break and children grow; there’s no way around it,” he said. “But as they begin tackling their shopping lists, parents will make sure to spend smarter than they ever have before.”

MORE INFORMATION

The South Carolina sales tax holiday ends at midnight Sunday. Find more information about the items included in the tax holiday at sctax.org.


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