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Walmart takes on the tax-free weekend in Oklahoma

The holiday tax for Oklahoma’s tax-free weekend exempts various items, most of which are clothes for students whose classes resume later this month.
By Catherine Sweeney, Business Writer Published: August 2, 2014
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Tax-free weekend started Friday, and Walmart Stores Inc. was prepared for back-to-school shoppers.

The holiday tax exempts various items, most of which are clothes for students whose classes resume later this month. To prepare for the shopping spree, Walmart had retail specialists look into clothing for the trends.

“Superheroes are huge right now,” said Erica Jones, a senior communications manager for the company.

Licensed shirts and backpacks bearing the familiar faces from Marvel and other comic books have been wildly popular. Neon colors have also proven popular with the kids. For girls, dresses sporting geometric patterns such as chevrons have been selling well.

The clothes are exempt from all sales taxes — state, county and local — which takes about 8 percent off the total cost when shoppers stay in the metro area. That amount of money can then be spent on nonexempt items, Jones said.

School supplies like notebooks and pencils are not exempt, but Walmart is “rolling back” the prices on those themselves. The store reduced prices on 10 percent more merchandise than it did during the tax holiday last year, Jones said.

In addition to lowering prices, the store enacted two back-up methods: “ad match” and “savings catcher.” Like all other times during the year, if shoppers find the same items Walmart offers advertised for a lower price at another store, Walmart will drop the price to match. With Savings Catcher, shoppers can use ad match retroactively by getting a Walmart gift card to compensate for the difference.

“Moms are busy today,” Jones said.

They don’t want to spend time driving around town to compare prices. This gives them another option, she said.

The tax-free weekend ends Sunday at midnight.