Slow sales for Georgia stores, shoppers flocked to South Carolina

By Michelle Paynter - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Back-to-school shopping is in full swing. While many South Carolina stores made a killing thanks to the tax-free weekend, many Georgia stores had a very disappointing weekend.

New shoes are typically a must have for back to school. But the foot traffic in Petite Feet on Abercorn Street was very slow this weekend.

Owner Michael Horwitz said he had a couple of customers on Saturday. "People came in and told me if I didn't have the tax free [break] they were going to South Carolina, off they went to South Carolina. As we all know, it's only a half of an hour away."

Horwitz opened Petite Feet a little more than a year ago and last year he cashed in on Georgia's tax-free weekend.

"That tax-free holiday was wonderful," he said. "Unfortunately, we didn't have it this year so we really need it back, urgently."

Mymy Godwin, of Savannah, would like that, too. She traveled to Hilton Head on Saturday to go back to school shopping with her daughter.

"We crossed the border, so you can get a better price," Godwin said.

Just that little bit of savings seems to mean a lot.

"Even $3, $4 or $5 adds up at the end of the day," Godwin said.

Horwitz added: "It's a motivation factor, people like to get a discount, and they bank on it and their budgets are limited and they need that extra dollar in their pocket."

Stores such as Petite Feet said they'd like to see Georgia shoppers spend their money in Georgia.

"Not South Carolina!" Horwitz said.

Georgia lawmakers canceled this year's tax free holiday to try to help reduce their two billion dollar budget deficit. No word on if Georgia's tax-free weekend will return in 2011.

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