Labor Day is the time to recognize the contributions of workers. It's one of the United States' oldest official commemorations, with Uncle Sam in 1894 making the first Monday of September a legal federal holiday.
In this age of consumerism, however, the meaning of Labor Day and other holidays, official or not, often takes a back seat to associated retail sales.
The bargains this year, though, are a bit different.
Pandemic precautions have pushed even more shoppers online.
COVID-19 closures for good: The country's shift to digital transactions already was well underway before COVID-19 appeared in the United States.
But the novel coronavirus has accelerated the trend.
In fact, COVID-19 has finally done what main street retailers have long feared. It's causing many stores to close for good in the wake of reduced real-life traffic these past six months.
And it's not just small, local businesses that are facing permanent closure. Many national retail chains, such as Stein Mart and Pier 1, this year are holding combined Labor Day/liquidation sales.
Those stores that are hanging in there are looking for Labor Day sale shoppers to provide a much-needed bottom-line boost.
Safe pandemic shopping tips: If your favorite store, be it a mom-and-pop store or big box branch, is among the many offering Labor Day 2020 bargains and you're OK with real-life transactions during a pandemic, happy shopping.
But please make it safe shopping, too.
Check out exactly what is on sale so you don't have to spend any more time than necessary in a crowd, even if it's a smaller than usual gathering.
Also take note of any special COVID-19 shopping safeguards at the store, such as limited hours, free delivery or curbside pickup.
No sales tax savings year-round: Labor Day and other sales are a better bargain for folks who live in states with no sales taxes.
That's the case in five states — Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon. But Alaska allows local jurisdictions to levy a sales tax if they so decide.
That's the apparel no-tax approach in Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.
If you live in one of the no-sales-tax states or one where apparel always gets favorable sales tax treatment, your Labor Day financial finds could be enhanced.
But again, make sure you shop carefully, literally. You want to stay well so you can enjoy your savings.
You also might find these items of interest:
- Working, and paying taxes, on holidays
- Legal holidays' effects on tax filing deadlines
- Celebrate Labor Day by ensuring your payroll withholding is right