OPERATIONS

Amazon.com in talks to open N.J. warehouses, seeks sales tax holiday

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Trenton, N.J. — Amazon.com is contemplating opening two warehouses in New Jersey and is seeking a 22-month sales-tax holiday as part of the deal, according to reports by the Associated Press and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Amazon is not required, as brick-and-mortar retailers are, to collect the 7% state sales tax for purchases. If it acquires a physical presence in New Jersey by opening warehouses, it would have to collect taxes.

The online retailer has already agreed to build DCs in Indiana, California, Tennessee, and South Carolina in exchange for sales-tax exemptions through 2014 or later.

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OPERATIONS

Bass Pro Shops to roll out new mobile POS solution

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Coventry, U.K. — Retail IT services-provider PCMS said Thursday it has launched a pilot of mobile sales devices for Bass Pro Shops.

In a move to reduce customer wait time, Bass Pro will launch the system in two phases. The first phase, which starts this month, will incorporate iPod Touch technology in pilot stores to enable customers’ purchases to be scanned while waiting in line. The transaction is then suspended until the customer reaches the register to conclude payment. Stage two will enable payments to be taken via the iPod Touch, reducing transaction times even further.

The PCMS system integrates with Bass Pro’s existing customer-facing technology, minimizing investment and enabling faster implementation.

“We faced challenges in managing wait times and we wanted to find a fast and easy-to-implement solution that would integrate with our POS,” said Steve Brock, director of retail and direct marketing systems at Bass Pro Shops. “We are looking forward to implementing mobile sales solutions across our stores and seeing our customers’ shopping experiences continue to improve.”

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STORE SPACES

Ikea plugs-in four electric vehicle charging stations at Palo Alto store

BY Staff Writer

East Palo Alto, Calif. — Ikea said Thursday it has plugged in four Blink Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations at its East Palo Alto, Calif., store. The initiative is in partnership with ECOtality and represents the eighth EV project for IKEA in the United States.

To charge an EV at Ikea East Palo Alto, drivers pull into a designated parking spot, swipe their Blink InCard (RFID card), and plug the charger into the EV to charge the vehicle.

“Ikea has a never-ending job of asking what we can do today for a better tomorrow,” said Jill Matherson, Ikea East Palo Alto store manager. “Hosting electric-vehicle charging stations at Ikea East Palo Alto is one way to help accomplish this goal – and we could not have done it without the support of our partners ECOtality and PG&E.”

Ikea also is installing electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in the Western United States.

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