Sales Tax Holiday shows mixed results
While big-ticket items like furniture and jewelry saw a jump in sales, smaller items such as household decorations and gifts reported lower sales than last year’s tax-free weekend.
Anthony Lucia, co-owner of Roussel’s Fine Jewelry and Gifts in Boutte, said that the two tax-free days were “like Christmas.”
“It was really good Friday - just crazy,” Lucia said. “I think it really boosted the economy. I know a lot of people bought school stuff, but we sold a lot of jewelry and even a curio cabinet…it was really good.”
Michael Haydel, of Haydel’s Furniture in Norco, also said his business did well last weekend.
“I thought we did extremely well - it’s amazing how something like that will generate business,” Haydel said. “This holiday has been anticipated for a while so people will put off major purchases as long as it’s not something they need right away.
“I was very pleased with business, especially considering the state of the economy…I would say it went better than last year. People saw the opportunity and took advantage of it.”
But many other businesses in the area said that customers were not out in strong numbers like they have been in past years.
Kay Casanova owns Uniforms by Kajan and said her sales were down from last year at this time.
“It definitely was slower…we think it’s probably the economy and not that people weren’t motivated,” Casanova said. “But people were really excited about saving that 9 percent.”
Linda Baxa, It’s All About You Interiors owner, said that people seemed to be concentrating more on school clothes and supplies.
The Basketry owner Kristie Brocato said she also did not see an increase in customers due to the holiday.
“When people were in the store shopping and they realized they would not have to pay taxes they were really excited about it, but they didn’t come in because of the holiday,” Brocato said. “It was a good thing to do, but I think a lot of people just weren’t aware of it.”
Sales Tax Director Paula Jeansonne said that while she saw many parishioners out shopping, businesses had reported that many were looking for strictly school items.
“That’s really what the holiday was set around this time for, though,” Jeansonne said. “But we have heard that customers came out and spent a little more money than usual and there were no problems.”
Jeansonne estimates that the parish and schools lose out on about $40,000 to $50,000 in revenue during the Sales Tax Holiday.
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