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NACDS joins retail groups in urging super committee to pass ‘e-fairness’ legislation

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced on Wednesday that it has joined other retail industry groups and companies in signing a letter to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the super committee, urging it to close a tax loophole to prevent harm to traditional brick-and-mortar retail businesses — including pharmacies — and to assist states in collecting $23 billion in uncollected state sales taxes that currently are due on Internet and catalog sales.

The letter called for the committee to level the playing field for “Main Street” retailers by closing a loophole that prohibits states from requiring remote sellers to collect sales and use taxes owed on purchases from out‐of‐state vendors.

“As you seek solutions to address the federal budget, any final product will undoubtedly have an impact on the states, which are likewise facing their own budget crises. Consistent with the goals of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, Congress has an opportunity to help the states resolve their own budget shortfalls by enhancing states’ rights over sales tax collection authority and in the process closing a loophole that will level the playing field for all merchants,” the groups stated in the letter to the committee.

The letter also cites several pieces of federal “E-fairness” legislation that would give states the authority to manage their state tax law while closing the loophole, including H.R. 3179, the Marketplace Equity Act and House and Senate companion bills — the Main Street Fairness Act (H.R. 2701 and S. 1452, respectively).

 

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Sam’s Club enhances holiday shopping experience

BY DSN STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Sam’s Club announced that it is making it easier for consumers to shop this holiday season with the launch of its holiday shopping site, SamsClub.com/gifts, and an enhanced mobile application that together streamline on-the-go and at-home shopping.

"Our members are looking for simple solutions that will expand their access to Sam’s Club values round the clock. The SamsClub.com and mobile teams have responded to our members’ shopping needs, creating cutting-edge solutions to connect and save," Sam’s Club SVP marketing John Boswell said. "We’re changing the holiday landscape with exceptional values, innovative interactivity and time-saving solutions for shoppers. Members can now access our extraordinary assortment of holiday values from anywhere in the United States, any hour of the day."

Sam’s Club shopping site can be accessed by both members and nonmembers and can be viewed on tablets and smartphones. The company said the site provides solutions for every aspect of holiday planning, whether it’s preparing and decorating the home, entertaining friends and family, giving presents or meal planning. SamsClub.com/gifts will feature a daily "Holiday Value of the Day" including online exclusives, gifts with free shipping and instant savings at extraordinary values. SamsClub.com/gifts also features digital versions of gift guide and entertaining catalogs, a listing of weekly savings events, holiday hours, shipping cut-off dates and more.

If that wasn’t enough, Sam’s Club announced that customers can get early access to Sam’s Club’s holiday value of the day beginning Nov. 1, by signing up for email, text/SMS or mobile alerts at SamsClub.com/gifts. In addition, customers can use the Sam’s Club mobile app to create shopping lists, view customized coupons and view a store layout of their local Sam’s Club, among other features.

"We’re excited to present an enhanced Sam’s Club app that expands mobile shopping opportunities to include memberships, online and in-club purchasing," said Matt Martin, senior manager for mobile marketing at Sam’s Club. "With more than 900,000 users already engaged, the Sam’s Club app now allows users to literally hold shopping solutions in the palms of their hands."

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Publix reports Q3 results

BY Allison Cerra

LAKELAND, Fla. — Third-quarter sales for Publix rose 5.5% to $6.4 billion, the Florida-based supermarket retailer announced Tuesday.

Comparable-store sales also saw an increase, rising 4.3% for the period, while net earnings totaled $311.9 million, compared with $283.2 million the in year-ago period, reflecting a 10.1% increase. Earnings per share for the retailer were 40 cents, up from 36 cents in the same period last year.

Despite the positive results, however, Publix reported a decrease in its stock price, dropping to $20.20 per share, compared with $22.05 per share. Publix stock is not publicly traded and is made available for sale only to current Publix associates and members of its board of directors, the company noted.

"I’m pleased that our Publix associates delivered strong operating results," Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw said. “Unfortunately, these results were not enough to offset the continuing challenges in the stock market."

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