By Jennifer DiDomenico
Attention all back-to-school shoppers: It’s that time again.
With the start of the 2018-19 school year just weeks away, it’s time to start shopping for everything needed in and out of the classroom.
The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) is reminding consumers about the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday weekend, which will be Aug. 3-5. On these days, consumers will not have to pay sales tax on thousands of eligible items.
Not only is this an opportunity for consumers to take advantage of deals as their students prepare to go back to school, but it is also an opportunity for retailers to piggyback discounts on top of the tax-free spending.
“The Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday remains as popular with retailers as consumers, and with the increased strength of Florida’s economy right now, we expect to see near-record sales this year,” FRF President and CEO R. Scott Shalley said in a press release.
The Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday is known to be the second busiest shopping “holiday” of the year, behind Black Friday. This year’s list of eligible items includes clothing, shoes and bags costing $60 or less, and school supplies costing $15 or less.
According to FRF’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, the average family in the U.S. is expected to spend $684.79 to prepare for the upcoming school year. While this number is down slightly from last year’s average of $687.72, it totals more than $27.5 billion nationally.
“This year’s expected spending continues a streak of more than 18 months of record or near-record spending on shopping holidays,” Shalley continued. “This shows how strong the overall health of our retail industry is, as well as how vital it is to the economic strength of our state and nation as a whole.”
According to the release, the top destinations for consumers shopping for back-to-school items are as follows:
Department stores (57 percent)
Online retailers (55 percent)
Discount stores (52 percent)
Clothing stores (51 percent)
Office supply stores (35 percent)
The percentages for back-to-college shopping were similar, yet lower.
The Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday has been recognized 17 years since it began in 1998. The 2018 weekend will mark its ninth year in a row.
For more information on the Florida Retail Federation, visit www.frf.org.