The thought of a sales-tax-free shopping trip lured many customers across the Savannah River into North Augusta stores Friday.
Desiree Faulkner was one Georgia resident who took advantage of the savings during the South Carolina’s three-day sales tax holiday.
The Savannah resident stopped at Office Depot on Knox Avenue with her mother, who was buying Faulkner’s school supplies before class starts back at Armstrong Atlantic State University on Monday.
“I think it’s great,” said the pre-nursing student. “People can actually plan and save more money.”
Faulkner, whose mother lives in Augusta, had a short commute across the state line. In Savannah, she said the closest South Carolina store was at least 45 minutes away, on Hilton Head Island.
“This is more convenient, I think,” she said.
Office Depot manager Keith Landun said computers and tablets were popular items. Though sales tax was free on clothing, shoes, school supplies, many electronics, bedding and bath items, other merchandise such as jewelry, cosmetics and furniture were still subject to sales tax.
Just down the street from Office Depot, Kristina Williams was checking off items on her children’s back-to-school lists at Wal-Mart.
Williams traveled from Evans with her 8-year-old son, Christopher, who will begin third grade at Augusta Christian Schools. Her 7-year-old daughter, Alexis, will be a second-grader at the school.
Because Georgia’s sales tax holiday isn’t until this weekend, Williams said she made the drive to North Augusta to get her shopping finished before school begins.
“We need to have all the supplies before they start on (Friday),” she said.
Williams expected to spend more than $100 on school supplies alone. Her children’s lists included a range of school materials such as crayons, pencils, folders, tissues and notebooks.
According to a National Retail Federation study, an American family with school-age children will spend an average $635 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics. Total back-to-school spending this year is predicted to reach $26.7 billion.