Macon shoppers turn out for sales-tax savings holiday

Ready, set, shop. It's a sales-tax holiday.

The four-day sales-tax holiday kicked off Thursday, and many area stores saw crammed parking lots and congested shopping aisles as a result.

So far, in 2009, retail sales nationwide have dropped about 5 percent, said John Heavener, president of the Georgia Retail Association. But in Georgia, numbers could be better than in other states because of this weekend’s sales tax holiday, which promises to lure in cash-strapped consumers who might not otherwise make purchases.

"We believe that with the combination of strong discounts and the sales-tax holiday, Georgia can stay above the national retail average," Heavener said.

It's still early in the weekend, but area stores are bracing for the best, too.

Retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target and those in the Macon Mall said they expect to see full parking lots Saturday and Sunday.

Already, before the end of the workweek, some stores have noticed a frenzy of consumers reaping the discounts of the holiday.

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