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Aerosoles implements Maple Lake’s assortment planning software

BY Staff Writer

Markham, Ontario — Maple Lake Ltd. said that Aerosoles has selected Maple Lake’s QuickAssortment software to refine and centralize the retailers’ merchandise, store and assortment planning activities. The retailer has already completed Phase I of the implementation process.

“Operating a true multi-channel business with concept stores, outlet stores, e-commerce as well as a catalog and direct sales business requires some significant coordination; relying on spreadsheets is no longer an option for us,” said Tupper Kinder, CIO, Aerosoles, Edison, N.J. “We needed a tool that was flexible enough to cater to our unique ways of working, robust enough to support our volumes and growth plans, but that was still a commercial solution so that we could remain on an upgrade path; QuickAssortment will give us all of this and more.”

The QuickAssortment solution will enable Aerosoles to coordinate all of the merchandise, store and channel plans as well as their assortment and key item plans in a single integrated environment. This will reduce the time that the business currently spends on maintaining their existing spreadsheet infrastructure, and instead enable them to develop more detailed plans and become more responsive to the latest trends.

QuickAssortment operates on a Microsoft SQL server platform and operates within a client-server architecture, with data being managed on the server to optimize performance and scalability. The solution is routinely integrated to a wide variety of merchandise management and business intelligence systems.

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Borders looking for value in name

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — The end of Borders as we know it may be drawing near. According to court papers filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, Borders Group is planning to auction off its intellectual property, including the Borders brand name and the Borders.com website, in a move that will enable the brand to live on after liquidation in a limited fashion.

The Sept. 14 auction, which will sell off the logo, trademarks, website, customer lists and other intellectual property, is expected to draw millions of dollars worth of offers.

A bankruptcy judge is slated to rule on the proposed auction on Aug. 10.

The team of liquidators is led by Gordon Brothers Group and Hilco Merchant Resources, who have a Nov. 13 deadline to empty the stores of all merchandise and fixtures.

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Internet retailers get dealt taxing blow

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON — Amazon and other online-only retailers have been dealt a major blow, as legislation introduced last week seeks to require such retailers to collect sales tax.

The Main Street Fairness Act would allow states that have adopted the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement to require out-of-state sellers to collect sales tax whether they have a physical presence in their state or not. The bill would cover all “remote sellers,” which include online retailers, catalog merchants and “1-800” offers on radio and television.

The new bill is in response to a nearly 20-year-old Supreme Court ruling that required retailers to collect sales tax from out-of-state customers only if they have a physical presence such as a store, warehouse or office in the customer’s state. The court held that the 45 state and 7,600 local sales tax systems across the nation were too complicated for a retailer to otherwise know how much tax to collect.

The National Retail Federation said it welcomed welcomed legislation that would help preserve Main Street jobs by requiring Internet retailers to collect sales tax the same as local bricks-and-mortar stores.

“We believe there should be a level playing field where all retailers follow the same rules regardless of whether they sell their merchandise in a bricks-and-mortar store, through the mail or online,” NRF SVP for government relations David French said. “This bill would end a situation where Internet sellers have held an unfair price advantage over local stores for far too long. Tax policy should be channel neutral and not favor one segment of an industry over another.”

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