FINANCE

Report: Fidelity takes 10% stake in C.Wonder

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Fidelity, the Boston-based investment firm, has bought a 10% stake in C. Wonder, according to Women’s Wear Daily. Founded by Christopher Burch in 2011, the company has since expanded to 10 locations and also operates pop-up stores.

Burch has big plans for C.Wonder, which sells a mix of apparel, accessories and home goods, all under its own label. According to previous reports, he plans to expand it to 50 to 100 stores by the end of 2014, including locations abroad.

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FINANCE

Tax reform and e-fairness top RILA’s D.C. agenda

BY Marianne Wilson

Arlington, Va. — The passage of comprehensive tax reform and a more level playing field between online retailers and Main Street retailers for sales tax collection top the Retail Industry Leaders Association’s public policy priorities for 2013.

According to RILA, the retail industry pays among the highest domestic effective tax rates at 36.4% more than 10 percentage points higher than the average for all other industries.

Further, the same compliance challenges that burden retailers burden their customers and small businesses. Tax reform that substantially reduces the corporate rate, treats all businesses the same and simplifies the system for all taxpayers, will put more money in consumers’ pockets and allow businesses to invest and grow.

The laws governing sales tax collection put Main Street retailers at a competitive disadvantage to their online-only competitors, RILA said. Specifically, online retailers are exempted in many states from collecting the sales tax owed on purchases made online, resulting in a perceived price advantage. Because of public pressure brought to bear by RILA and its partners, Amazon.com will be required to collect sales tax in over 50% of the U.S. consumer market by the end of this year.

Here is a complete list of RILA’s 2013 Public Policy priorities:

Tax Reform: Pass comprehensive tax reform that lowers rates and simplifies compliance for corporations, consumers and small businesses.

E-Fairness: Level the playing field for Main Street retailers and give states the right to enforce their sales tax laws online.

Health Care: Protect retailers’ ability to continue to offer employees quality health coverage.

Labor: Stop job-killing labor regulations that create micro-unions and ambush elections.

Privacy: Promote a self-regulatory model to consumer privacy that recognizes the needs and expectations of consumers.

Swipe Fee Reform:
Extend debit swipe fee reforms to credit cards.

Trade: Pursue the adoption of simple, flexible rules of origin for apparel as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement.

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REAL ESTATE

Dunkin’ Donuts to develop 11 locations in New Orleans

BY Staff Writer

Canton, Mass. — Dunkin’ Donuts announced the signing of multi-unit store development agreements with two franchise groups to develop 11 restaurants throughout New Orleans.

The two franchise groups and their development plans include:

  • Alaa and Dhiya Esmail plan to develop six restaurants in New Orleans. Their first restaurant is planned to open in 2013 and the remainder by 2016.
  • BBC Foods, LLC plans to develop five new restaurants in New Orleans. Led by Bhavin and Bharat Chauhan, their first restaurant is planned to open in 2014 and the reminder by 2018.
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