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Big Savings

Crowds pack local stores for tax-free weekend

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Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 4:30 am

Bright plaid collared shirts and faded jeans vanished from local shelves Friday through Sunday during Texas’ tax-free weekend.

Revenues spiked 70 percent over last year’s holiday at Killeen Mall’s Buckle, a “fashion-forward” clothing store that mostly attracts young adults, said manager-in-training Karrin Chapline.

“The timing is perfect,” she said. “This is just the chance to take advantage of anything we offer.”

The Texas tax-free weekend typically falls shortly before school starts, and spares most clothing, backpacks, shoes and school supplies less than $100 from local taxes and Texas’ 6.25-percent sales tax.

Along with Buckle last weekend, mall management staffed additional employees, including housekeepers and security guards, said Killeen Mall General Manager Denise Dasse. More than 62,000 customers flocked to the mall, a 12 percent increase over a regular payday weekend.

“Everything went real smooth,” she said. “There were no issues.”

Stores opened early and closed late, and Sears shut its doors at 11 p.m. Saturday.

Chapline said she’d like tax-free weekend to continue next year because it helps the store’s guests, and drew children and parents to the shop.

The crowds dissipated Monday.

“It’s a lot more calm than yesterday, but it definitely is an average Monday,” Chapline said.

The only items that Harker Heights High School incoming senior Chase Lalouette bought were two pairs of shoes for $30 at Payless ShoeSource in Market Heights, she said. Coupons helped her save, too.

“The tax-free weekend adds to that,” Lalouette said. “It’s basically another coupon. ...This year, I’ve kinda slowed the spending as I’ve gotten a grip on how much money is worth.”

Harker Heights incoming senior Jessica Babb said she and her family bought clothes at Killeen Mall Saturday morning and avoided most long lines, but she saw bigger crowds that afternoon.

“The no tax helped out on some of the items that were pricier,” she said. “I was able to get quite a bit.”

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