Store owners urge parents and teachers to purchase school supplies ahead of Virginia sales tax holiday


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – With a brand new school year beginning, store owners are urging shoppers to purchase their school supplies early.

The Virginia Sales Tax Holiday Weekend begins Friday, August 6, allowing parents, teachers and students to stock up on certain qualifying school supplies and products without paying sales tax. Pencils and clothing are on this weekend’s tax-free back-to-school savings list.

Debora Smith, owner of Toys that Teach, said families shouldn’t wait until Friday to start shopping.

“Don’t wait until the eleventh hour because someone is going to be very disappointed,” she said.

Smith has owned his store for more than three decades and said the pandemic has really increased sales.

“There are more parents doing stuff at home so they’re interested in our memory cards and they’re interested in exercise books,” she said. “Anything to complement zooming and online lessons because kids need to get away from devices. “

Toys that Teach educational placemats are favorite items for parents and teachers, but Smith said other school supplies may be temporarily unavailable.

“We got stuff we ordered in February the other day,” said the store owner. “We don’t know what we’re going to get, when we’re going to get it and I don’t see it getting any better anytime soon.”

With more people on the move since the pandemic lockdown, Smith said the shipments had been saved.

“The supply chain has been so disruptive this year and to some extent last year, but not as bad as this year,” she said.

The National Retail Federation said families with school-aged children plan to spend about $ 850 on average on supplies. Total back-to-school spending is expected to hit a record over $ 37 billion, an increase from last year.

Smith said she was ready for any last minute shoppers.

“They just played and are having fun and finding things that the kids can complement with their learning,” Smith said.

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