As students get ready to return to school, parents may save money on certain school supplies and articles of clothing this weekend during the no-sales-tax holiday in Arkansas. Pine Bluff merchants expect an influx of customers.


Shoppers may take advantage of an exemption of Arkansas sales tax and local use tax on Saturday Aug. 5, and on Sunday, Aug 6, on certain school supplies, art supplies, school instructional materials and articles of clothing. All retailers are required to participate.


Fathers and Sons Clothiers owner David Maddox expects an influx of customers to his store at 2801 S. Olive St. Unit 35, in the Jefferson Square shopping center. He is preparing for tax-free shopping by increasing inventory so he has ample products for his customers.


“Sales-tax free is really big,” Maddox said. “I have got some really nice items that I am marking down. I am most definitely expecting an influx of customers. Many people are getting ready for high school and college.”


Maddox opened his business in Pine Bluff on June 11, 1997. His employees and he were stocking shelves in advance of an expected rush of customers. JC Penney merchandise supervisor Tracy Stephens was similarly preparing for many customers at 2901 Pines Mall Drive. She said JC Penney is also offering sales on many products.


“We have brought in extra uniforms: all sizes from toddlers to teenagers,” Stephens said. “We are staffed and ready for the weekend. We are looking forward to providing Pine Bluff with every school supply they need. The good thing is we can order and deliver for free to our customers. We have athletic shoes and backpacks. We have a vast assortment of back-to-school supplies.”


Stephens said JC Penney prepares for the exemption of sales tax every year.


“Everything in the store is on sale and we are waiting to welcome our customers,” she said.


In other sales tax news, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration allows small farm wineries in Arkansas to directly ship wines from the winery to Arkansas residents without requiring the purchaser to have made an in-person visit to initiate the purchase. This law took effect Aug. 1.