By Gary Mitchell
North Plains Mall merchants say they were pleased with the turnout to their version of the Texas tax-free weekend shopping spree.
“It was wonderful,” said North Plains Mall manager Cindy Banister. “All four of our major department stores here were very pleased with the weekend sales. The customer traffic was great all weekend long.”
In fact, Banister said one mall merchant reported a 40 percent sales increase over last year’s event.
Tax-Free Days in Clovis came about four years ago because business owners wanted a way to compete for back-to-school sales with Texas, where lawmakers have authorized tax-free shopping the first weekend in August.
Local merchants who participated in the tax-free weekend voluntarily discounted items to match the sales tax required by New Mexico law.
“It was great,” said Mark Anderson, J.C. Penney Co. store manager. “It far surpassed last year. We had a large, double-digit increase.”
Melia Kwasigroch, assistant store manager at Sears, noted: “We had really good sales and a pretty good increase over the weekend.”
Sears’ assistant manager Ralph Bell said apparel sales did well over the weekend.
“We had 15-20 percent increase in our sales over the tax-free days last year,” he said.