The back-to-school shopping season is among the busiest of the year, taking a back seat only to Christmas.
The National Retail Federation estimates that parents with school children will spend roughly $690 on clothes, electronics and school supplies. That is an increase of $85 from last year’s average.
In Georgia, the tax holiday on Aug. 10-11 suspends the sales tax on general school supplies, clothing worth $100 or less and computers and computer accessories.
Amy Hemphill, who lives in Gainesville, said she plans to shop during the tax holiday even though her son, a high school senior, will return to school before it starts.
“I’ll let him get through a week, and get some things then,” she said.
Georgia first offered a two-day sales tax holiday timed for the back-to-school season in 2002 along with another tax holiday earlier in the year. It eventually evolved into a four-day event.
State leaders ended that tradition during the last recession as Georgia’s tax revenue plunged. Gov. Nathan Deal reinstated the sales tax holidays this year and state lawmakers, including legislators who said Georgia businesses were losing back-to-school sales to stores in neighboring states.
This year’s shopping season could be difficult for stores, said Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst for NPD Group. He said shoppers are more likely to wait until after school has started to do their buying and may shop at different stores over several months.
Some stores are offering special sales during the sales tax holiday to boost sales. Other retailers are reminding their customers about the holiday. Stephanie Teichner, the owner of Sprong Children’s Shoes, said people buy a single pair of shoes when the economy is in trouble rather than two or three pairs.