Retailers across the country are prepping their stores with back-to-school specials for fall 2013 that coincide with tax-free weekends in many states.
Some stores are extending hours to accommodate the rush of shoppers while others are merely adding additional staff while maintaining normal store hours.
Apple stores plan to have additional inventory on hand for popular items and will be following the hours of the mall or plaza they are located in– which in many locations means extended hours for tax-free weekend.
Eligible devices purchased in Apple stores will ring up automatically without sales tax but online purchases may take a couple of days for the sales tax to be deducted.
Items purchased through Apple up to 14 days prior to the tax-free event can be credited for any sales tax charged. Customers can bring their receipt to the store during tax-free weekend to receive the credit.
This runs in conjunction with Apple’s Back to School deals for students and teachers.
Best Buy’s hours will vary by location with most planning on having extended hours, even if it only means opening an hour earlier.
Best Buy customers who purchased items eligible for the sales tax break within 15 days prior to the tax-free weekend can bring in their receipt for the credit during their state’s tax-free holiday.
Best Buy will also be honoring its competitor price matching policy during the tax-free events.
Walmart says it will be offering “Gimmick-free pricing all season long, including more than 250 school supplies for less than $1” during tax-free weekend and the back-to-school season.
This year marks the return of its Classrooms by Walmart site— an online database that features a registry where teachers can create and share lists of required supplies with parents and students.
Thousands of schools across the U.S. are participating and including digitized school supply lists through the site. This enables parents to purchase supplies directly through Walmart.com or print a list to use at their local store.
School uniforms will also be included in the lists this year. According to Walmart, “Parents can search for their child’s school, find approved uniform styles and colors and purchase them directly online.”
Walmart.com will be offering free shipping on school supplies and uniforms. A Site-to-Store feature is also available– it allows shoppers to purchase eligible items online and have them shipped for free to a store for pick up.
Target stores will not have extended hours for tax-free weekend although they will have additional inventory and staff on hand.
Local store hours can be found at www.Target.com/stores.
For college students, Target offers an online tool called uStyler that lets students select and design their dorm room décor and share it with friends via Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Another tool called The Checklist serves as a shopping list offering product recommendations based on college students’ various living situations. It can be found online or through Target’s mobile app and enables the list to be printed off at home, at a Target registry kiosk, or shared through a mobile device or Facebook.
In August and September at select universities and colleges, Target will be busing incoming freshmen to local stores for private after-hours shopping events where they’ll be offered entertainment and offers exclusive to the event. To find out if a university or college is participating, students can check their school’s Facebook page.
More information about Target’s deals and digital tools for college students can be found online at Target.com/college.
Staples will be holding regular store hours during tax-free weekend while honoring the discount both in-store and online.
A representative says “With these events aligning with our Back-to-School season there will be exceptional value in many items across the stores during these events, including our “Extreme Deals”, and our stores will be well staffed to help customers find what they need easily and quickly.”
Kmart will be sticking to regular store hours during tax-free weekend and is participating in the following states: Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, Texas and Connecticut.
The store does plan to increase staff for checkout lines and to help with Layaway orders.
Eligible sales tax exempt purchases made in store will receive the discount automatically at the register.
For online purchases Kmart says, “Customers living in states that are participating in the tax-free holiday can call in their orders at 1-866-562-7848 to process their tax-exempt credit.”
Macy’s will be following mall hours and will be advertising locally if that means extended hours in certain locations. Customers can check Macys.com for local store hours.
The retailer has a number of back-to-school events and sales running during August 1-4 that coincide with tax-free weekend in some states.
For Junior girls, this includes 40% off XOXO, up to $10 off shoes and boots from American Rag, Madden Girl, Rampage, G by Guess, and Minnetonka, 25% off Material Girl dresses, $5 off graphic tees from various brands, $11 off Levi’s jeans, and 25% off backpacks from American Rag and Madden Girl.
For Junior guys, the offerings are 30% off graphic and logo tees from Calvin Klein jeans, Sean John, and other brands, $24 off Levi’s 513 jeans, 25% off Nike and Adidas graphic tees, and 50% off Nautica and Tommy Hilfiger backpacks.
Savings for girls include $5 off colored jeans from Celebrity Pink and Imperial Star, $15 off Levi’s jeans, screen-printed tees from various brands for $3 off, and Epic Threads clothing for up to $8 off.
Deals for boys are 40% off Nautica and 25% off Tommy Hilfiger clothing, Levi’s 513 jeans for $15 off, and clothing from Epic Threads up to $4 off.
College students can find help with dorm room essentials at macys.com/collegelifestyle, which offers inspiration for decorating, tips for shopping, and a printable checklist. Students can also create wishlists that can be shared through e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter.
Representatives from JC Penney, Office Depot, Office Max, and Fry’s Electronics did not return requests for information on their tax-free weekend store hours or specials.
Retailers that are usually located in malls such as Gap, Old Navy, Limited, Express, Foot Locker, Finish Line, Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle, and other popular clothing or shoe retailers will typically be following mall hours. Shoppers can check with their local malls to see if extended hours will be in place for tax-free weekend.
See Back to School Tax Free Weekends 2013 for a list of participating states and dates.