Shoppers head to the stores today through Sunday to take advantage of Florida's back-to-school sales tax holiday. The tax break applies to clothing $100 or less per item and school supplies $15 or less. Computers and related accessories are also tax free for the first $750 of the sale price.
Here are some deals and promotions happening at area stores and malls:
• Spend $250 at WestShore Plaza during the tax-free holiday and receive a $25 gift card to any store at the mall. On Aug. 9, the food court's Chick-fil-A is having a back-to-school rally from noon to 3 p.m. with games, crafts and prizes.
• Staples is offering a 110 percent Price Match Guarantee on back-to-school items sold in stores and online, including Amazon.com. Customers will get the lower price plus an additional 10 percent off the difference between the Staples price and the competitor's price. To receive the price match, shoppers must show a copy of the competitor's ad. For purchases made on Staples.com, customers can call toll-free 1-800-333-3330.
• Walmart has cut prices on 10 percent more back-to-school items compared with last year and has increased the number of school products available on Walmart.com by about 30 percent, to 75,000.
• Target is giving away up to $25 million in school supplies to the Kids In Need Foundation through its Buy One Give One program on select Up & up brand notebooks, pencils, crayons and other items.
• Sears and Kmart have launched free store pickup at many locations, where people can buy school supplies online and pick them up at either store. Sears also offers in-vehicle pickup, through which shoppers can get online orders by driving to a store and parking in designated spots. If an order isn't delivered curbside within five minutes, the customer gets a $5 store coupon.
• Publix is having a Tools for Back to School campaign through Aug. 13. Shoppers can add $5, $7 or $10 to their purchase to provide school supplies to local charities.
• Westside Barbershop and Cigar City magazine are hosting the second annual Back to School Drive from noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 17 at Westside Barbershop, 2800 N MacDill Ave., in Tampa. The first 100 children ages 5 to 14 will receive a new book bag, and boys ages 5 to 17 will receive a free haircut from Westside Barbershop. Some Tampa Bay Buccaneers will also visit to take pictures and give out autographs and Bucs items.
Contact Susan Thurston at [email protected] or (813) 225-3110. Follow @susan_thurston.