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Retail industry adopts principles for tax reform

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — The National Retail Federation board of directors said Monday it has adopted a resolution directing NRF to “strongly encourage” Congress to enact comprehensive tax reform in 2013, and it set out a list of principles aimed at achieving tax policy that would boost the economy and encourage job growth.

“Now that the fiscal cliff has been avoided, the time has come to address comprehensive tax reform,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “We want to put the economy on a trajectory to grow again, and tax reform and tax certainty are an essential part of the formula for growth.”

Shay went on to say that retailers will be unable to achieve that goal by having “political battles year after year over temporary, last-minute measures. This is the year for fundamental, comprehensive tax reform that will settle our nation’s tax policy questions on a long-term basis and provide businesses the certainty they need to grow and create the jobs that are so badly needed,” he said.

Shay said political battles such as the recent uncertainty regarding resolution of the fiscal cliff hurt consumer confidence, noting that NRF polling found two-thirds of consumers said their 2012 holiday season shopping was impacted by worries over the economy.

Meeting at Retail’s BIG Show – NRF’s annual convention in New York City – the board voted on Sunday to approve the following tax reform principles:

  • Tax reform should eliminate tax credits and incentives that favor some industries over others and should replace these “tax expenditures” with substantially lower tax rates, freeing businesses to make the most economically prudent investment decisions rather than having the tax code drive decision-making.
  • Tax reform should be neutral among different types of businesses, so that businesses are not favored based on their form of legal entity (e.g. C corporation versus pass-through), how they own their property (e.g. leased stores versus owned stores), or distribution channel (e.g. brick-and-mortar sale versus remote sale).
  • Tax reform should not include a consumption tax.
  • Tax reform should eliminate temporary tax provisions and provide certainty.
  • Tax reform should provide adequate transition rules, so that businesses do not face large tax burdens based on investment decisions made in years prior to the enactment of tax reform.

“Certainty in tax policy fosters the innovation and growth that a vibrant economy provides,” the resolution said. Adoption of the principles comes as President Obama is expected to call for corporate tax reform in his upcoming State of the Union address and the House Ways and Means Committee is expected to bring up comprehensive reform this spring and bring a bill to the House floor.

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Crocs implements SAP apparel and footwear application

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — SAP AG on Monday announced that Crocs Inc. is implementing the SAP Apparel and Footwear application to replace a legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

Implementation is already underway and will help give Crocs complete control of its global supply chain — from procuring raw materials to delivering finished styles across the globe.

The rapidly expanding Crocs felt growing pains in internal operations and systems, and needed scalable business software that could drive standardization of processes and support multi-currency, multi-language and local country business requirements — something its current systems could not handle. Crocs decided to replace its legacy systems with integrated industry-specific SAP software for apparel and footwear companies, including analytics, supply chain and database software.

“With SAP in place, we are confident we can expand our product and brand portfolio without feeling the growing pains through our technology platform,” said Scott Crutchfield, COO, Crocs. “As we extend global operations even further, it is important to maintain the right level of customer service and product availability as well as drive more operational efficiencies internally.”

With SAP Apparel and Footwear, Crocs can effectively manage the enormous volumes of data associated with ever-increasing design variations, seasonality and customer value-added-services requirements for global business operations. The application has enhanced standard SAP software data structures, available today in the SAP ERP application, to facilitate the handling of potentially huge volumes of data. These enhancements derive largely from the size and seasonal requirements of the industry and relate to the building of product levels based on style, color and size as used throughout the logistical cycle.

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B.Barnaby says:
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Hibbett Sports selects QuantiSense to improve local assortments

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Atlanta — Retail analytics firm QuantiSense announced Monday that Hibbett Sports has selected the QuantiSense Decision Orchestration Platform for its enterprise business intelligence solution.

Hibbett Sports needed a single foundation for enterprise business intelligence that could satisfy current merchandising and store operations requirements and expand to other departments over time.

“It is our opinion that QuantiSense has the deepest functionality and most comprehensive retail analytics offering available. Their long-term strategic growth plan was also an important factor in our decision,” said Mike McAbee, strategy officer and VP merchandise planning for Hibbett Sports.

Hibbett Sports is constantly updating its broad merchandise assortment at each store to offer the latest in product technology, performance and fashion in order to meet the diverse needs of its customer’s active lifestyles.

“With QuantiSense, our buyers and planners will have an automated scoring machine that analyzes localized assortments and items, store by store, across a number of performance areas,” said Becky Jones, SVP merchandising, marketing and logistics for Hibbett Sports. “These new capabilities will provide the knowledge required to improve pre-season plans and in-season adjustments, ultimately driving higher sales, margins and inventory productivity,” she continued.

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