Parents, students reap buying benefits

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 4, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
Lanette Hughes thought she might have found a winner as daughter Jaylea, 10, marched up and down the aisles at Magic Mart where the two were shoe-shopping for school.
Saturday marked the second day of the no-tax weekend, where parents can find school supplies, clothes, footwear and some electronics for sale without worrying about paying the tax.
The hardest part about shopping for the shoes, other than trying to find a pair Jaylea liked, was making sure it met the school requirements and would match her uniforms.
The shoes have to be conservative and can’t be sandals or flip flops, Hughes said.
She was looking for a good price and a name-brand shoe.
“I probably will get everything here,” she said.
Store Manager G. Lester said Friday was a good day.
The store was full of shoppers taking advantage of the tax-free weekend.
Some customers were surprised to see the store carried school lists, he said. Though not required, Lester said he felt it was a good idea and a good way to assist customers by providing the lists.
He expected to be busy throughout the day as well as today.
Sherry Usrey has three children and looked to save some money. She saw the circular ads and decided to stop by Magic Mart.
Stacy Rupard didn’t intend to shop at the South Jake Alexander Boulevard store, but was looking for a gift and saw a few items.
She found most of what she needed for daughter, Jenna, 8, who will be starting fourth grade.
Kelly Lomax saw the circular ads and thought she could find some “pretty good deals.”
She was shopping for three children, all at Shive Elementary.
“I wanted to avoid the crowds. I usually do it before or after,” she said.
Lomax decided to brave the crowds in order to save some money on the sales.
She was looking for school supplies and shoes.
Lomax and best friend, Amber Brindle, who was shopping with daughter, Anna, 6. Brindle’s other child was not with her.
Kim Heglar said she, too, was looking for some of the basic school supplies like paper and a backpack.
She shopped along with daughter Kaylah, 10.
Sherri Wilson was shopping strictly for others. Wilson was checking items off her list for her goddaughter and children at her church.
Her church collects school supplies, and she was looking for a range of items.
“I pretty much know the different ages at the church,” she said.
Her goddaughter is in the second grade.
She intended to buy some items now and other items closer to when school starts.
Office Depot store manager George Barnett said this year’s tax-free weekend isn’t what it was last year.
Barnett said although people have shopped at the store, the economy has affected people’s wallets.
“People are more thrifty about purchases. They are looking for deals,” he said.
The store makes it so customers can get a good “bang for their buck,” Barnett said.
Mostly customers were buying the typical school supplies — binders, pencils and paper. As for technology, customers have been buying tablets, he said.
“Tablets are a big thing,” Barnett said.
Sheryl Thompson had two lists in her cart, both from Morgan Elementary, where her daughters, Melinda, 10, and Joanna, 8, attend.
“We came last year and found some neat things and great prices,” Thompson said.
Of concern to Thompson was avoiding crowds, which she said she managed to this year.
She hoped to find all the needed school supplies at the store.
Rhonda Mize of Lexington was visiting with her daughter in Faith and decided to stop into Office Depot.
Mize, along with her husband, are a part of their church’s mission ministry and were looking for a few items for the mission project.
The church gives supplies to a Thomasville school.
Summer Taylor, 18, will be heading to North Carolina Central University this fall and needed a scientific calculator. She and her mother, Trisha Roseborough, stopped by Office Depot to see if they could find one.
Mother and daughter stopped at the office supply store, Summer said, because she knew they would have the calculator she needed.
Even though some items are free, Roseborough said, shopping is still expensive.
The tax-free weekend ends today.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.