REAL ESTATE

Starbucks opens in Colombia

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – Starbucks opens its first store in Colombia on July 16. The three-story location in the capital city of Bogota is the first of 50 stores Starbucks plans to open in Colombia by 2019.

Starbucks will only serve locally sourced beans in its Colombian store, a practice it does not follow in any other location. Starbucks operates 700 stores in 12 other Latin American countries. According to the Associated Press, the 200-store Colombian Juan Valdez coffee chain is publicly welcoming Starbucks to the market, saying there is room for both retailers.

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REAL ESTATE

Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids enter Philippines

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco – Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids opened stores Tuesday, July 15 at Central Square, Bonifacio High Street, a premier retail destination in Manila, Philippines. As part of parent company William-Sonoma Inc.’s strategic global expansion, these stores are the first Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids locations in Southeast Asia.

Both stores are organized according to lifestyle displays. There are destinations within the Pottery Barn store dedicated to living rooms, outdoor spaces, dining rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as feature walls that display lighting, rugs, and window treatments. Focused displays on bedding, dinnerware, frames, and candles are also featured throughout the retail floor.

At the center of each store is Design Studio, a destination for customers to get expert advice from specially trained associates. Complimentary design specialists assist customers with decorating needs, from furniture selection and room planning to entertaining ideas.

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FINANCE

NRF supports Marketplace and Internet Tax Freedom Act

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – The National Retail Federation (NRF) is supporting the Marketplace and Internet Tax Freedom Act. The legislation was introduced by Senators Michael Enzi, Richard Durbin, Lamar Alexander, Heidi Heitkamp, Susan Collins and Mark Pryor.

The bipartisan bill combines two legislative issues – the Marketplace Fairness Act and the Internet Tax Freedom Act. It would limit the ability of state and local governments to impose Internet access taxes for 10 years, while giving states the ability to enforce their sales tax laws on businesses selling to consumers located within their borders

“The National Retail Federation applauds the introduction of this bipartisan piece of legislation that seeks to level the playing field between local, brick-and-mortar merchants and online retailers without creating or raising taxes,” said David French, senior VP for government relations, NRF. “We appreciate the leadership of the bill’s sponsors and thank them for renewing their commitment to sales tax fairness. The retail industry has rapidly evolved over the last two decades with e-commerce and mobile commerce, and it is time for Congress to eliminate the sales tax disparity, which disproportionally impacts community and independent retailers.”

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