Retailers expect big crowds for tax-free holiday

By Liliana Castillo: Freedom New Mexico

San Skinner and his family have gotten used to the routine of business in the 85 years since his grandfather opened the doors of Skinner’s Western Wear in Portales.

The New Mexico tax-free holiday, which will be held statewide Friday through Sunday, has become one more routine.

The tax-free holiday applies to all clothing and shoes under $100, school supplies under $15, computers under $1,000 and computer equipment under $500.

Store owners around eastern New Mexico are expecting back-to-school shoppers to flood their stores in search of small savings. For Skinner, he said the weekend will be busier than most.

“I think in past years it’s worked pretty good. I think it’ll work pretty good again,” Skinner said. “We’ll have just a little more traffic maybe.”

North Plains Mall General Manager Cindy Banister said most of the stores in the mall have sales planned to add to the tax-free savings for shoppers.

Banister estimated the tax-free holiday brings about double the amount of customers as a normal weekend.

“Everyone will be here taking advantage of the tax-free option,” she said.

Banister said the mall saw sale increases throughout 2008 and in the first two quarters of 2009, leading her to believe that the dwindling economy won’t affect the expected shopping frenzy.

“This is about our biggest event of the year,” Banister said. “Even bigger than Black Friday.”

Tracy Orozco, owner of The Shoe String Consignment in Clovis, said she’s hoping for a busy weekend.

“In past years, we’ve done pretty good,” she said of the tax-free weekend. “I don’t know about this year with he way it’s been so slow for everybody.”

The Shoe String has a large inventory of used clothing and furniture.

“Most people will come in here for back-to-school clothes and shoes,” she said, adding that the store has a 20 percent off sale planned for the weekend.

On the ‘Net
http://www.tax.state.nm.us/