Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Back-to-School Sales Promotions in OKC Continue

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Back-to-School Sales Promotions in OKC Continue

Article excerpt

Area retailers have expanded back-to-school marketing efforts beyond the traditional end-of-summer vacation sales.

Marketing departments at Crossroads Mall and Quail Springs Mall both sponsored tax-free weekends earlier this month and promoted other back-to-school sales for retailers.

But the school-related promotions at the malls will not end with the start of the academic year as retailers have plans to keep shoppers after school.

Quail Springs Mall will target teenage shoppers with a promotion called The Scene on Sept. 10.

Retailers will offer special teen-oriented promotions and teenagers will be offered shopping discounts, said Stacey Aldridge, group marketing manager at Quail Springs Mall, which has about 160 stores.

Activities will include Beat Your Friends contests, prizes and discount coupons to various mall stores all aimed at teen shoppers.

Crossroads Mall started a continuing marketing program targeting teachers earlier this summer.

Part of the program is the mall's Teacher Supply Closet, said Christi Parks, senior marketing manager at Crossroads Mall. The program encourages the community to help offset teachers' out-of- pocket expenses by providing classroom supplies.

A survey conducted for the program found that teachers spend an average of $475 of their personal money annually on classroom supplies, Parks said.

The program also includes discounts offered by merchants at Crossroad Mall.

We know teachers shop here, she said. They are already supporting us. We are just looking for ways to repay them.

The extra promotions were created to expand other efforts including tax-free weekends, which have become annual events with area malls and non-mall merchants.

The local tax-free events were started to keep area shoppers from heading to Texas for back-to-school shopping. Texas has an annual statewide sales tax holiday the first weekend in August. Measures have been introduced in the Legislature for a similar sales tax holiday in Oklahoma but have failed to pass.

Crossroads Mall merchants began sales tax holiday promotions in 2001. Since then, mall retailers annually have offered discounts equal to or greater than the sales tax on the same weekend as the Texas sales tax holiday. …

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