retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Los Angeles Times reports that with Amazon set to begin collecting sales taxes on Internet sales made in California as of September 15, "many tech-savvy consumers (are) trying to cram in some last-minute tax-free shopping."

The story goes on to say that "depending on where they live, Californians pay 7.25% to 9.75% in sales taxes, so the savings are substantial — especially on big-ticket items such as electronics. But bargain hunters are also stocking up on inexpensive goods such as food, DVDs and carpet cleaner ... Amazon won't say whether sales to California customers have spiked in recent weeks. But judging from comments on social media sites and reportedly increased buying activity in other states before similar sales tax laws went into effect, many shoppers see these final days as an excuse to shop freely."
KC's View:
his is interesting, though I'm reasonably sure that most traditional retailers should not interpret this as a signal that once Amazon begins collecting sales taxes, its competitive advantages will diminish. There are some folks now who are taking advantage of the moment, but I firmly believe that this is a blip.