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Small stores look forward to big weekend

READ MORE: Small stores look forward to big weekend
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ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WWAY) -- North Carolina's tax free holiday is coming up this weekend, giving shoppers an opportunity to save a few bucks. Retailers love it, too.

There's no doubt the larger chain stores love the tax free holiday, but smaller stores do, as well. They say it gives customers a reason to come into their shops and start spending.

Leinwand's Department Store in Elizabethtown is getting ready for this upcoming tax holiday. The locally-owned store is hoping to cash in despite the tough economy and competing chains.

"I would say that in the last five years it has definitely been a huge success to our small town merchants," owner Ricky Leinwand said.

Leinwand said though chain department stores may be better known, his store, which has been around for more than 70 years, brings in shoppers who don't want massive crowds and want the small town feel instead.

"We actually attract customers from New Hanover, Sampson, Columbus, Cumberland, Robeson counties," he said.

Other stores in downtown Elizabethtown agree that their small town feel is a selling point for shoppers. Top that with a tax free weekend and you have one of the most successful sale days of the year.

"This kicks off back-to-school like Black Friday kicks off Christmas," Leinwand said. "These are absolutely the two busiest days of August. It's a big deal. The publicity on it is unbelievable so we try to put our whole store on sale."

So with the tax free holiday just days away, employees at Leinwand's are getting everything straight and stocked for the weekend they can give the larger stores a run for their money.

"We can compete with the big boys," Leinwand said.

The tax free holiday runs Friday through Sunday. Eligible items include clothing, shoes, school supplies and computers.

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