(WBIR) Pens, paper, pencils and computers are just some of the items being purchased this weekend as parents take advantage of the tax-free holiday. But local businesses are joining the frenzy with so many extra customers hitting the malls and shopping centers. And a few may surprise you.
Crystal Visions at Knoxville Center is a very eclectic store. Inside you'll find everything from crystals to incense and signs posted everywhere letting customers know the small business is also participating in tax-free weekend.
Manger Allison Smith said, "It's a good way to get people in the store because they are like, 'Why do you have tax-free stuff?'."
You won't find school supplies in the store. But even though Crystal Visions doesn't qualify for tax-free benefits, the store is footing the bill for the 9.25% sales tax for customers over the three-day period.
Smith joked, "It's a little extra paperwork for me at the end of the month." But Smith said the extra paperwork is worth it because she's seen an increase in customers since the store started participating in the tax-free weekend four years ago.
"We have a couple that comes in every year specifically on tax-free weekend and buys some Swarovski crystals and it's cool because they call and are like, 'Are you doing it this year?' And we're like, 'Yep, we're doing it!'," Smith said.
Other local businesses, like Hound Dogs in Cedar Bluff, do qualify for tax-free benefits. But workers are gearing up for even more business thanks to the approaching football season in addition to tax-free weekend.
Hound Dogs manager Jesse Thomason said, "We kind of get it double. We get tax-free weekend and everybody's excited about that, then we're also getting into football season so everybody's excited about that."
Either way, more people are visiting stores they might have otherwise walked by.
"They tend to go to the stores with the big sales, but it's picking up," said Smith.
This weekend many stores have extended hours. Knoxville malls are extending their hours to accommodate shoppers for the tax-free weekend. West Town Mall will open its doors Saturday at 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday the mall is open from 11a.m. to 7 p.m. Knoxville Center has similar hours, though it closes at 10:00 p.m. Saturday.