Constant rain on Saturday didn’t appear to keep customers away from enjoying South Carolina’s tax-free weekend.

Aiken residents flowed into retail stores like Target, Rack Room Shoes and Staples from Friday to Sunday, taking advantage of buying clothing, shoes and back-to-school supplies for a discounted price.

Robin Allen and son Jacob, 13, generally don’t shop during tax-free weekend, but decided to as a result of the weather.

“I don’t usually go shopping during this weekend, I go a little beforehand to get all of the back-to-school items; sometimes when we go everything gets picked over,” Allen said. “But it’s great because you can save a little bit of money on things you need.”

For Jacob, it’s the chance to get new shoes without charging much to his mom’s card.

“I love shoes,” Jacob said. “I love this weekend because I can get some new stuff.”

Allen and Jacob aren’t alone.

The National Retail Federation reported that this year families with school-age children are expected to spend almost $700 on shoes, apparel, supplies and electronics – a 5 percent jump from last year. It’s expected the biggest portion of shoppers’ budgets will go toward electronic items by an average of $212.35.

Staples General Manager Brian Prinz said the families who have passed by the cash registers are paying between $100 to $200 on back-to-school items.

“We always have a good flow of people come in during this weekend, and this weekend is typically one of the best weekends in sales for Staples,” Prinz said. “Even though everyone is shopping beforehand, next weekend will be big, too, because then families have their school lists.”

At Staples, some families trickled by the electronics counters, but more families stayed clear of the area and focused in on items including notebooks, paper, pens, pencils and backpacks.

Aiken High School rising senior Jenna Van Pelt, 17, looked over items alongside her mother, Denise, to help her during her final year of high school.

“We like the extra savings, and we do get excited for this weekend,” Denise said. “This is our first stop, we still have more. But we’re one day shoppers.”

The sales tax-free holiday ends today at midnight.

For more information about what items are exempt, visit the S.C. Department of Revenue’s website at

Maayan Schechter is the local government reporter with Aiken Standard.