Sales Tax Holiday

The state's annual sales tax holiday begins Friday. Houston retailers are striving to make the most of the expected surge in customers.

Shoppers will be out in force this weekend, hunting for bargains on clothes, footwear and school supplies. Amy Olivieri, Houston-area director for marketing firm Constant Contact, says how stores respond to the extra traffic will make the difference between a three-day bump and a long-term improvement in sales.

"Retailers need to see the sales tax free weekend as being an opportunity to engage with their customers."

Olivieri says first and foremost that means stores need to make sure they have enough staff and enough product on hand for the crowds.

"They also need to collect contact information, so that after the sales tax holiday they can continue that momentum by reaching out to their customers and engaging with them for future promotions."

Olivieri says small businesses should not be afraid to follow up with customers, particularly with e-mail newsletters and social media.  She says something as simple as adding a "Tweet" or Facebook "Like" button to the body of an e-mail can generate loads of referrals if the original customers feel they’ve been treated well.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...