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NRF: When it comes to taxes, online, local retailers should be on level playing field

BY Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation reiterated its call on Congress to address a loophole that allows most online sellers to avoid sales tax collection to the detriment of local retailers and communities.

"Our current sales tax system is broken. It favors one set of retailers over another, hurts job growth, and threatens the economic health of local communities," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. "We can’t allow an antiquated decision to unfairly disadvantage Main Street in a time when it’s already fighting to stay afloat."

Shay’s comments come as the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday on H.R. 3179, the Marketplace Equity Act, authored by Reps. Steve Womack, R-Ark., and Jackie Speier, D-Calif. The bill would address the 1992 Supreme Court decision in Quill v. North Dakota, where the court said states can only require an out-of-state seller to collect tax on sales to its residents if the seller has a physical presence in the state. Instead, the legislation would allow states to require collection by all sellers the same as local retail operations.

"Every single retailer, whether they sell in a store, online or through the mail, should be afforded the opportunity to compete on a level playing field," Shay said. "Congress needs to address this for the sake of the millions of jobs supported by local retailers."

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GNC elects president, CEO to chairman of the company’s board

BY CSA STAFF

PITTSBURGH — GNC Holdings on Friday elected company president and CEO Joseph Fortunato to serve as chairman. The board also has appointed Michael Hines to serve as lead independent director.

Fortunato succeeds Norman Axelrod, who has resigned as chairman. Axelrod had been a member of the GNC board since March 2007.

"We would like to thank Norman for his distinguished service as [chairman]," Fortunato stated. "Norman’s strong and dedicated leadership has been instrumental in guiding the company through a pivotal transition period, including a successful IPO, and in shaping the strategic vision that has positioned GNC for continued growth in the near- and long-term future."

GNC expects to announce a replacement for Axelrod’s seat on the board shortly, the company stated.

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Target Pfresh remodeling program nears completion

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS — Target is in the final stages of its remodeling plan that will bring an expanded assortment of fresh food to 30 general merchandise stores in the United States. The remodels are expected to be completed by October and will span markets from Cincinnati, Ohio to Jacksonville, Fla. and Nashville, Tenn. T

“By remodeling our stores and expanding the grocery selection, we’re able to bring an even more convenient shopping experience to Target’s guests,” said Annette Miller, SVP grocery, Target. “Just in time for the busy holiday season, these newly remodeled stores will offer a one-stop shop for all shopping needs, including fresh foods.”

Nearly 1,100 Target stores currently offer an expanded food layout. At these Target stores, approximately 10,000 square feet is dedicated to a vast array of fresh food choices, including a curated assortment of fresh produce, fresh packaged meat and pre-packaged baked goods, in addition to dry and frozen offerings.

At the newly remodeled locations, Target’s guests will find a selection of national food brands, as well as award-winning Target owned brands, including Archer Farms premium foods, Market Pantry value staples and meal options and Sutton & Dodge premium quality USDA Choice beef.

Beyond the grocery aisles, most of Target’s new and remodeled general merchandise stores also feature updates in other areas to further enhance the shopping experience for guests. In the beauty aisles, guests will experience a more visual environment, making it easier to browse a mix of everyday essentials and exclusive brands. The home department offers easier navigation with wider aisles and lower product displays. The shoe department is now more comfortable with additional seating and mirrors, and the baby department is easier to shop with broader visibility between baby gear, supplies and apparel.

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