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Merchants make ready for tax holiday

Local merchants said Wednesday they are gearing up for this weekend’s tax-free holiday.

Managers and employees were busy stocking shelves with the latest merchandise in anticipation of large crowds.

“We got in a shipment (Wednesday) and we’ll get another one in Friday,” Factory Connection’s Chelsa Bryant said. “Last year, we had people from all over, even Florida who came up for the tax-free weekend. We hope that this year will be no different.”

Maurice’s Amy Cooper said they too are hoping to get people from all across South Alabama.

“We have tons of new merchandise for sale,” she said.

JcPenney’s Dennis Cockrell said customers respond well to the tax-free weekend.

“Customers really respond to (the sales tax holiday) very well,” he said. “It always comes at the perfect time, since it’s always the last weekend before school starts.”

In Opp, Peebles store manager Kerry Bradley said the tax-free weekend usually draws a crowd to the Opp location.

“We normally have a good turnout,” she said. “We have people come from Kinston, Geneva, Brantley, really all around. We usually get a lot of Florida traffic as well.”

Merchants are also offering additional sales that will help stretch a dollar.

“We have a huge sale so customers can save either $10 off a $50 purchase or $15 off a $75 purchase,” Cockrell said. “We call those instant money coupons and that’s in addition to the sales tax savings.

“If they’ve got a couple of kids, it’s easy for a customer to come out and spend a couple hundred dollars easily,” he said. “That’s big savings and families need that.”

At Peebles, Bradley said, they have a 15 percent off across the board sale with a coupon.

Bryant said Factory Connection’s biggest sale is on jeans, pants and capris and customers can buy two and get one free.

Some merchants are even extending their hours for the sale.

At the Shoe Department, the store will stay open until 10 p.m. Saturday and Factory Connection will be open Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

JcPenney will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Friday; 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Maurice’s will have normal hours.

Zariana Mobley tries on a new pair of shoes for school, while Kenya Loveless gives her opinion. | Kendra Bolling/ Star-News