Tax Free Weekend Starts with Shopping Frenzy

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) --   Stores across the Tennessee Valley are already feeling the hustle and bustle of back to school shopping.

The sales tax holiday is officially underway and continues through the weekend. "So far it has started off with a bang, we're very very happy with the response to the no tax days," said Wilson McClellan, the owner of Schoolcraft in Huntsville.

The sales tax holiday means a busy weekend for McClellan's school supply business. "Usually it's fairly heavy," he said. "People enjoy saving the money on the our supplies, as well as clothes and other things of course but it's very good for business, we enjoy it."

While school supplies are on everyone's shopping list this weekend, there's another big part about going back to school. Everyone wants to look their best on the first day back from summer break, and that means new clothes. "We've had people banging on the door since about 9 o'clock this morning and we don't open til 11:00," said Rachel Wesson, the owner of Envy in Huntsville."We've been trying to get all our cleaning and restocking done early to let people in."

Wesson says her clothing boutique is fully stocked and ready for the back-to-school shoppers. However, she said that the sales tax holiday doesn't just help out consumers. "It's a great way for us as a small, locally owned business to get all of the traffic from the community."

Even though it's only the first day of the shopping frenzy, Wesson said she is looking forward to the next two days.  "I'm already tired, my feet already hurt but im just ready to help all the customers and help the kids and the moms and help everybody get the stuff they need for the rest of the year."

Across town at Parkway Place Mall employees are also preparing for large crowds this weekend. Officials say they are adding extra security and maintenance crews to keep up with the anticipated up tick in shopping over the weekend.

*For a complete list of stores, events and tax-free exemptions, visit or for a printable store directory and the official 2013 Sales Tax Holiday Guide for Alabama.

The sales tax holiday ends at midnight on Sunday, August 4th.

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