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Amazon cuts off Arkansas affiliates

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Amazon.com said Friday that it would drop its online affiliates in Arkansas in response to a new state law that would have required the online retailer to start charging sales tax, the Associated Press reported.

Lawmakers passed a bill earlier this year to require out-of-state online retailers such as Amazon to collect sales tax from customers if their annual sales in the state exceed $10,000.

The bill applied to retailers with online affiliates, even if they don’t have a physical presence in the state. Amazon pays advertising fees to a network of so-called Amazon Associates in the state, who promote the company on their websites.

State law requires consumers to pay sales taxes on items they buy online, but the burden is on them to report the purchases. Bentonville-based Wal-Mart Stores and other state retailers say that opens a loophole that hurts their businesses.

Amazon opposed changing the law, and this week, it notified associates by email that it would terminate their contracts on July 24.

Amazon has made the same move in other states, including Illinois and Connecticut, which changed their sales tax laws.

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Advance Auto Parts names president of International business

BY CSA STAFF

ROANOKE, Va.— Advance Auto Parts announced that Jim Durkin will join Autopart International as president.

“Jim is an experienced executive with a great track record of success in delivering results by building and developing strong teams that sustain their performance over time. We are very excited about the leadership skills he will bring as we continue our growth,” said Roger Patkin, CEO of AI.

Prior to joining Autopart International, Durkin served as the EVP global sales for OfficeMax, where he led the global business segment. He has also served as SVP field sales. Prior to OfficeMax, Durkin served as VP sales for Aramark Corp.

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VF boosts portfolio with Timberland deal

BY CSA STAFF

GREENSBORO, N.C. and STRATHAM, N.H.— VF Corp., owner of the Wrangler, Lee, 7 For All Mankind, among other big name apparel brands, has added another apparel juggernaut to its ranks. The company announced that it has signed a definitive merger agreement with The Timberland Company. VF will pay Timberland shareholders $43 per share, representing a total enterprise value of approximately $2 billion net of cash acquired. The merger agreement was unanimously approved by both companies’ boards of directors.

Timberland is a global footwear and apparel company with expected 2011 revenues of $1.6 billion, over half of which are generated internationally, the companies reported.

“The Timberland brand is synonymous with high quality outdoor footwear and apparel," said Eric Wiseman, chairman and CEO of VF Corp. "This acquisition will continue the transformation of VF’s portfolio, propelling VF’s outdoor and action sports businesses to 50% of total revenues."

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