retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Walmart is reaching out to California affiliates of Amazon.com as the online retailer threatens to cut ties with them because of an ongoing dispute over the collection of state sales taxes.

As reported yesterday, Amazon is threatening to sever relations with more than 10,000 California based affiliates - companies that place ads for Amazon on their websites and then get paid when people click through and make purchases - as it battles the state over internet sales taxes. Two years ago, Amazon severed its relationship with affiliates in Rhode Island, North Carolina and Hawaii over precisely the same issue.

Not only is Walmart looking to poach Amazon’s affiliates, but Raul Vazquez, Wal-Mart's executive vice president of global e-commerce, tells the Journal that the company “strongly supports a change in the law to level the playing field for all retailers. The company added that it would continue to collect and remit all sales taxes due on all Walmart.com sales.”

"We encourage state legislators to support retail fairness legislation," Vazquez says.
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