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Stores preparing for Alabama’s 15th annual tax-free weekend

Stores putting protocols in place to ensure safety for customers and employees
Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 5:53 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - No matter what it may look like the school year is coming up and once again families are looking to save on clothes and supplies. Alabama will waive its four percent sales tax on school-related items during the states 15th annual tax-free weekend beginning at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 17 until midnight on Sunday, July 19.

Director of Public Relations for the Alabama Retail Association, Nancy Dennis shares what items will be tax free.

“There is basically four large groups of merchandise that is tax free this weekend,” Dennis said. “The first one is clothes, that is $100 or less per item and the clothes include things like shoes; and diapers are even included as a clothes item. And then books that are $30 or less and that’s any book. It doesn’t have to be a school book or children’s book. Textbooks that are $50 or less and then school supplies. It’s a specific list of school supplies, there is 27 specific items, that are $50 or less. And then computers and computer equipment that is $750 or less.”

Tax-free weekend will look a little different for shoppers this year due to COVID-19. Stores are adapting to ensure customers’ safety.

“Because we are in the middle of a pandemic, people have changed the way that they shop,” Dennis said. “They are shopping curbside more, and pick up, and online,” Dennis said.

For shoppers who want to shop in store, general manager at Best Buy, Kerry Gould, said the store has a series of protocols in place.

“Fist off when you walk in you’ll see that there is a big sign on the front of the door that says that we require masks,” Gould said. “The state of Alabama now requires masks. If you don’t have a mask we will actually provide one for you. We will put you into a queue if you actually need help, if you don’t need help we’ll let you browse, and as you are moving around we just ask people to stay within a six-foot distance and we have a manager on duty monitoring that for customers and employees.”

Gould said they expect an increase in computer sales this year due to students learning from home and people being forced to work at home.

“There has been a nationwide computer shortage as of recently, I would tell you that this weekend we are plenty stocked up more than probably anybody has been in in the past,” Gould said.

Academy Sports and Outdoors also has store protocols in place. Academy assistant manager, Jarvis Fitzpatrick, explains.

“We are making sure we have signage down for customers and everything, and making sure they stand 6-feet apart,” Fitzpatrick said. “Also we have the book bags separated this year on different aisles so they can shop around and they can have their space.”

Academy customers have the option to shop in store or take part in free in-store pickup, free curbside pickup and free shipping on purchases over $25.

“Make sure you come, the dressing rooms are open as well,” Fitzpatrick said. “Just make sure you do the precautions, give everybody their six feet and stand apart.”

View the full list of tax-free items by clicking here.

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