Families in Texas are preparing for the back-to-school grind and they're getting a little extra help this weekend. The state is hosting its 14th annual sales tax holiday and retailers are gearing up for the huge crowds.
Shops inside the Longview Mall were prepping their storefronts Thursday afternoon, unloading shipments and organizing their stock.
"They pull out all the stops," said Monica Bermea, Director of Marketing at Longview Mall. "They get all their back to school and fall shipments in and uniforms too."
Bermea says all of the 80 stores at the mall have been prepping for the influx of shoppers expected this weekend. The three-day, Texas Sales Tax Holiday saves shoppers about $8 for every $100 on certain back to school items, such as supplies and clothes.
"It's not just tax free," said Bermea. "You'll see that many of our retailers will have promotions on top of that. We want to make sure everyone gets the best bang for their buck."
"Our sales are already prepped and ready to go; everything is at least half off or better in our stores," said Kamisha Servatius, manager at Aeropostale.
Servatius says this sales holiday is one of the busiest for all retailers, only second to the Christmas season. That's why she will have double the staff this weekend.
"We prepare for sales tax weekend, at least two months in advance," said Servatius. "All hands are on deck, as soon as the gates open we're full volume, full energy."
And the sales crews may need some extra energy, as they can expect to see thousands of shoppers from all across the Ark-La-Tex.
"We'll see lots of families just coming out and taking advantage," said Bermea. "It's the serious shopping season, it's the serious shopper we'll see."
Texas officials estimate shoppers will save nearly $65 million in state and local sales taxes this weekend. For a complete list of what qualifies as "tax free" visit texastaxholiday.org.