The annual Oklahoma tax-free weekend offered individuals a break from sales and use tax over the last few days.
For the local merchants on Main Street in Ardmore, this meant more traffic and more funds to cycle back into their community.
From Friday to Sunday, all qualifying clothing and footwear items less than $100 were exempt from their normal tax. At Moments to Remember, a formal and regular wear clothing store on Main St., store clerk Kadyn Carter said jeans, shorts and tops were the top items sold.
Community members came out to shop for many different reasons, but with school starting back in session soon several were in search of back-to-school outfits, she said.
“Today has been a lot more busy than yesterday, lots more sales,” Carter said. “I know a couple people have come in here for work clothes and then there were a couple for back-to-school, is what it looks like.”
Another retail store in downtown Ardmore, Karma Fashion Company, opened its doors just in time for tax free weekend.
When she and her mother first bought the business back in March, co-owner Caitlyn Caldwell said they were located in Lone Grove. However, the two decided to relocate to Main Street at the beginning of August.
“We just love the Ardmore community, so we wanted to move downtown and be a part of it,” Caldwell said.
With the business only being open for two days — both during tax free weekend — Caldwell said sales have nearly doubled from what they were in Lone Grove.
“It’s like night and day from Lone Grove to Ardmore. We sold out of so much stuff yesterday I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s so crazy busy’,” Caldwell said. “We’ve been very blessed being open only two days and tax free weekend really brings the consumers in.”
Threads Clothing, also located on Main Street, has been around a little longer. Local merchant Carol Watts-Looney said the business has been in the family for around five years now.
“We have a lot of girls in our family. They kind of do this, it’s a hobby — they care about quality clothing and it’s just a neat little store,” Watts-Looney said. “They care about Ardmore.”
Watts-Looney said there had been a lot of foot traffic at the store over the weekend. And of course, everyone enjoys a break from taxes, she said.
“This tax free thing is really kind of a break from taxes,” Watts-Looney said while laughing. “And it’s a good break, every little bit helps.”
However, tax free weekend is more than just a break from an extra 10 percent charge, Caldwell said. It’s a way for small businesses, like those on Main St., to increase sales and, in turn, give back to the Ardmore community.
“Tax free weekend, for us small businesses, means that it goes back to the community,” Caldwell said. “When you shop local it goes back to the community for football fundraisers, and all kinds of things like that. So it really means a lot for small businesses, especially with foot traffic.”