And with the state's annual sales tax holiday taking place this weekend, area stores are sure to be full with even more money-saving customers than usual.
"Since it's in its fourth or fifth year, our customers have grown accustomed to it and hold back until then to shop. It's becoming bigger every year," James Miller, manager of the Sikeston Wal-Mart, said.
The sales tax holiday, which applies to a number of back-to-school items such as clothing, personal computers, school supplies, will save customers about 7.5 percent in Sikeston, Miller noted.
Many area businesses are preparing for the holiday with price adjustments and advertisements. However, Goody's Family Clothing store manager Bobbi Tinnin noted that many customers already make it a point to know when the holiday is. "I don't think we've done anything more. People already know about it," she said. Goody's will have a Kids' Day this weekend as well, including activities and refreshments.
Businesses are not the only ones preparing. Shoppers such as Geri Riley save their shopping lists for the money-saving weekend.
"There's a whole list of school supplies they need, so it can really add up," Riley, who has a fifth grader and an eleventh grader, said. "It's a little harder to shop for my high schooler because you never know what they need until after that first week, but I still get her the basics." Riley added that she normally saved about $10 in all when buying school supplies.
While the back-to-school items everywhere will be free of the 4.225 percent state sales tax this weekend, local county and city governments can choose whether or not to participate in the sales tax holiday. New Madrid and Bloomfield are the only towns in the area who will still apply their city taxes. Shoppers will be exempt of the county tax in Scott, Mississippi and New Madrid counties.
However, there are still price limits on the tax-exempt items (see sidebar).
Missouri's sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Aug. 3 and ends at midnight on Aug. 5.