Stores see brisk business on tax holiday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 7, 2010

Local storeowners saw packed out stores Friday and are geared up for day two of the annual sales tax holiday, which ends Sunday.

State and local governments have waived sales taxes on certain back-to-school purchases for the three-day period.

One local business owner waited until Friday to open her new business to take advantage of the traffic.

So far, it’s paid off.

“So far, we’ve had a lot of traffic,” Madi’s Place owner Kelly Whisonant said. “I planned it that way.”

Whisonant said she initially planned to open the store located on Hillcrest Drive across from the old KFC building in September, but decided that she would miss the back-to-school traffic.

“I literally moved in here and opened up in less than a week,” she said.

“I meant I was going to be open this weekend.”

Whisonant wasn’t the only local retailer seeing a rush of back-to-school and tax-free traffic.

“We’re usually pretty busy,” Tomi Cox of the River Falls Street Dollar General said. “We’ve had more school supplies being sold, and we’ll probably have more customers (Saturday).”

The same can be said at the East Three Notch location.

“We don’t have that many school supplies left,” the store manager said. “We’ve sold down a lot.”

Down the road at Factory Connection, store manager Jesse Walden described the store as being “packed.”

“And we anticipate it to be that way tomorrow,” she said.

“We have special sales going on jeans, pants and capris, and we’ll open up on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.”

Across town at Shoe Department, keyholder Mickey Coleman said they’ve seen an influx of customers thus far, and they are anticipating greater numbers today.

Sales are expected to continue and that’s just what Whisosant was hoping.

Whisonant, who opened the children’s apparel and gift shop, in Opp in February of this year, said she wanted to expand the business.

Thus far, she’s seen “a steady flow of traffic.”

The business is open 10 to 6 Monday through Friday and 9 to 3 on Saturday.

“We carry sizes newborn up to size 16 in little girls,” Whisonant said.

Whisonant said she started Madi’s Place because she likes to shop for her 9-year-old daughter, Madison, for whom the shop is named.

“It’s just something about her. I get such excitement shopping when shopping for her,” Whisonant said.

“I want to give people a place they can get name brand clothes at reasonable prices.”

Katie King looks through a rack at Madi’s Place Friday. | Kendra Bolling/Star-News