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Central Mass. Stores Prepare for Boost This Tax-Free Weekend

Thursday, August 09, 2012


Stores across Central Mass. are preparing for some of the biggest shopping days of the year this tax-free weekend and looking forward to the economic boost that accompanies it.

‘It is an important weekend for most retailers as the economy gets a big bounce,” said Dick Kennedy, President of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. “It gives them a big bump in the middle of summer, which is traditionally slow.”

On Aug. 10 and 11, retail purchases under $2,500 will be exempt from the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax.

Kennedy said he hasn’t heard complaints from local retailers that this weekend only promotes deferred spending or prevents return customers.

“Most retailers tell me these are impulse buys,” Kennedy said.

He said no matter what the size of the store, they all benefit from increase traffic on tax-free weekend.

Rotmans Story Manager Joe Quintal said this is the biggest sales weekend of the year for the store.

“It’s done very well in past year and has been bigger than Black Friday or Presidents’ Day weekend,” Quintal said. “We do a month’s worth of business in a two day period.”

Quintal said the tax-free weekend has become an important part of gearing up for the fall season.

“People have a lot of fun with it,” Quintal said. “There’s something about escaping taxes that makes them want to buy.”

Bigger box stores, like Lowe’s, are combining the tax-free weekend with other sales to optimize on the increased traffic.

“This weekend is when customers go for bigger projects and bigger merchandise,” said Worcester Lowe’s General Manager Michael Lemire. “We’re offering extra sales including 10 percent off appliances, 30 percent of bathroom vanities and an extra 5 percent off or 12 months financing with a Lowe’s card.”

Shoppers Prepare

Many shoppers around Central Mass. have been hitting the stores early this week to plan their weekend purchases.

Christina Mazzilli of Millbury was scoping out sales during the week before making her big purchase on the weekend.

“I think we’re going to buy a new refrigerator at Home Depot,” Mazzilli said. “We were waiting for this weekend to take advantage of the sales and the tax break. We’ll probably see what else is on sale while we’re out, too.”

Others said they only had one purchase in mind and were trying to pre-buy before the day.

Lauren Greiner, shopping at Rotmans during the week, said she knew she was looking to buy a day-bed and wanted to make sure she shopped around for the best weekend deal.

“I’ll be back out this weekend to buy,” Greiner said.


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