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E.U. ends tax breaks that benefit Starbucks, Apple

BY Dan Berthiaume

Brussels – Major multinational retailers such as Starbucks and Apple will have to start paying higher taxes in Europe, thanks to a move by the European Union (E.U.) to end certain tax breaks it has now defined as “state aid,” which is prohibited by E.U. bylaws. These breaks, which member nations including Ireland, Luxembourg, and Netherlands have used to allow some types of profit to be classified as tax-deductible debt, had come under fire from other E.U. nations and the U.S.

Apple has avoided paying billions of dollars in taxes by operating a variety of subsidiaries in the E.U., and Starbucks pays a low corporate tax as a result of moving its European headquarters to the U.K. E.U. states that currently offer the tax breaks do not face any punishment or fines, but must start collecting the additional tax on profits by the end of 2015. Apple has previously said in a statement it did not receive any special treatment from Irish authorities in how it conducts business and pays taxes there.

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Patagonia taps 7thonline to achieve seamless inventory across all channels

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — As part of a strategic move towards achieving seamless inventory management in an omnichannel retail environment, eco-friendly outdoor apparel retailer and wholesaler Patagonia has extended its partnership with 7thonline to support merchandise and assortment planning for its brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce channel.

With 7thonline supporting all of its wholesale, retail and e-commerce channels, Patagonia is on track to move from a siloed, Excel-based environment to a single planning and forecasting platform. For the first time, Patagonia will gain complete visibility into global demand across all channels and geographic regions — a major bottleneck to delivering seamless inventory for many retailers.

The enhanced visibility, flexible planning capabilities, and powerful analytics will enable Patagonia better leverage its global brand appeal and translate that into winning assortments and greater inventory productivity across global markets.

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Clear Demand, 360pi partner on real-time price management

BY Dan Berthiaume

Scottsdale, Ariz. – Big Data pricing solution vendor Clear Demand is partnering with competitive price intelligence provider 360pi. Under this joint initiative, 360pi’s real-time price intelligence is fed into Clear Demand’s pricing platform, which in turn alerts retailers to competitive price changes, including compliance with product-line and pricing rules, and helps manage competitive price strategy.

“We collect billions of pricing and product data points for our retail clients – that’s big data,” said Alexander Rink, 360pi’s CEO. “Increasing price transparency and price dynamism across categories means these numbers are growing exponentially, adding to the challenge facing retailers. We are extremely pleased to work with retail pricing and analytics leader Clear Demand to help retailers understand what’s happening, and then take effective and sustainable action in near real-time.”

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