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Amazon Suing N.Y. State Over Sales Tax Law

BY CSA STAFF

Seattle Amazon.com has sued the state of New York, challenging a new statute requiring Internet retailers based elsewhere to collect New York sales taxes, according to a Reuters report.

Amazon said in a complaint filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York on April 25 that the new law, passed by the state legislature in early April, was unconstitutional, vague and overly broad.

Through its “Associates Program,” the company pays unaffiliated Web site operators around the country a commission if they advertise Amazon on their sites. Those ads often allow consumers to click through from the advertiser’s Web site to Amazon.com.

The new law presumes that this amounts to solicitation of business in the state, a claim Amazon denies. Amazon has no “substantial” physical presence in the state, and independent advertisers are not authorized to act as Amazon’s agents, according to the company’s complaint.

Furthermore, Amazon claims the lawsuit unfairly singles out the company. Amazon wants the law be declared invalid and to be awarded costs of the legal proceedings.

Besides newly appointed New York Governor David Paterson, Amazon also named the commissioner of New York’s state department of taxation and finance as a defendant in the case, the report said.

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Cabela’s posts 1Q sales increase

BY CSA STAFF

SIDNEY, Neb. Cabela’s posted total revenue of $535.5 million for its first quarter ended March 29, an increase of 15.9% over last year’s $462.1 million.

Net income for the quarter increased 39.4% to $10 million, or 15 cents per diluted share, compared to $7.1 million, or 11 cents per diluted share, for the like 2007 period.

“We are very pleased with our 70% growth in consolidated operating income for the first quarter of the year, despite ongoing challenges in the consumer environment,” said president and ceo Dennis Highby. ” … We remain focused on improving retail store profitability and are already seeing positive benefits from initiatives we put in place last year. We have improved four-wall contribution and lowered inventory per square foot in our comp stores. At the same time, we remain on track with our store expansion plans and expect to open a new store in Scarborough, Maine, on May 15 and another in Rapid City, S.D., in August.

“We are committed to taking the necessary steps to improve our business across the board and are pleased with the traction we are getting with our initiatives to drive retail profit improvement,”  continued Highby. “We remain confident our leadership position in the marketplace will afford us significant growth opportunities well into the future.”

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Walgreens posts 7.9% April sales boost

BY CSA STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens today announced April sales of $4.85 billion, an increase of 7.9% over last year’s $4.49 billion. Comparable-store sales rose 1.6% while comparable-store front-end sales decreased 3.1%.

April sales were affected negatively this year due to an earlier Easter that helped boost sales in March. Sales for the two months, combined, increased 9.2% over 2007. Comparable-store sales for March/April rose 3% while comparable-store front-end sales rose 4%.

Front-end sales for the drugstore chain were aided by allergy medicine Zyrtec, which recently switched from prescription only to over-the-counter.

Aril pharmacy sales rose 10.8% and comparable-pharmacy sales rose 4.2%.

Walgreens opened 38 drugstores in April—including four relocations—acquired eight and closed 3. At April 30, the company operated 6,614 locations.

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