Families have a chance to save on back-to-school and other shopping starting Friday as the state's annual sales tax holiday begins.
The sales tax holiday, which runs through Sunday in Texas, means that clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced less than $100 are exempt from tax this weekend.
The exemption does not cover athletic wear that is used only for athletic activity, such as cleats or football pads. It also does not cover luggage or gym bags. Computers and textbooks also are not included in the exemption.
JCPenney Manager Ed Cox said his store is preparing for one of its busiest weekends of the year. One of the most popular items will be a $7 backpack, of which the company has projected to sell more than 1 million.
The Tyler location will sell more than 40,000 pieces of merchandise through the weekend.
"People wait for this weekend," Cox said. "People love the feel of it and the thrill."
To draw in shoppers, the store will host doorbuster sales on Friday and Saturday, followed by deep discounts on Sunday, as it ends the long weekend at 9 p.m.
The National Retail Federation estimates Americans will spend more than $29 billion on back-to-school shopping.
The comptroller for the state of Texas estimates that Texans will save $87 million during the sales tax holiday.
Broadway Square Mall will extend its hours for the weekend to meet customer demand.
Marketing Director Candace Foster said tax free weekend is second only to holiday shopping in terms of foot traffic. She recommends shoppers arrive early to beat the crowds.
Foster also said the Smith County Sheriff's Office and the Shriners will be on hand over the weekend creating free identification cards for children.
For more information about sales tax exempt items, visit comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/publications/98-490.
Broadway Square Mall Tax Free Weekend hours:
Friday, Aug. 11 – 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 12 – 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 13 – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.