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By Chris Korman, The Baltimore Sun | September 24, 2012
In years past, Nathaniel Scroggins spent late August and early September finding ways to de-emphasize the Orioles gear at the Sport Shop store in Harborplace. Whatever was left from summer got tucked into one corner, while Ravens gear swarmed the space. Last Friday, though, the store manager stood in the central aisle, flanked by orange on one side and black on the other. "It's a totally different feeling this year," Scroggins said. Nationwide, sales of Orioles merchandise increased 278 percent year-over-year for a period of four weeks spanning late August and early September, according to an analysis by SportsOneSource, a research firm focused on the sporting goods industry.
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BUSINESS
Lorraine Mirabella and The Baltimore Sun | September 28, 2014
Maryland consumers who shop online at Amazon.com after Tuesday will be paying more — 6 percent of the sale. Yet most shoppers will click "place your order" anyway. The world's largest online retailer will begin collecting Maryland's sales tax as it prepares to start operations of a massive new distribution center next spring in Southeast Baltimore, where it expects to hire more than 1,000 workers. It has already hired part-time and seasonal workers to staff a smaller "sortation" center nearby that will open this fall.
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BUSINESS
By William Patalon III | September 26, 1999
ANALYSTS ARE dreaming of an e-Christmas. After last year's better-than-expected holiday season -- about $3 billion of goods were sold over the Internet, despite some well-publicized technology glitches on some Web sites -- forecasters say 1999 holiday sales could reach $5 billion to $10 billion. How's the season shaping up? What areas will be strong?John SegrichE-commerce analyst, CIBC World Markets, New YorkThe way we look at it, last year was a tremendous season for electronic commerce relative to all expectations.
NEWS
May 21, 2014
Congress needs to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) so there is real and fair competition reflecting 21st century commerce. America was built on promoting economic growth and business in a fashion that ensures fair competition for all. Today, online-only retailers are not required to charge and collect sales tax, while local businesses must. However, the sales tax (in all but five states) is still owed. The collection of these taxes is difficult to enforce unless online sellers have either a physical store or a warehouse within the state.
BUSINESS
Lorraine Mirabella and The Baltimore Sun | September 28, 2014
Maryland consumers who shop online at Amazon.com after Tuesday will be paying more — 6 percent of the sale. Yet most shoppers will click "place your order" anyway. The world's largest online retailer will begin collecting Maryland's sales tax as it prepares to start operations of a massive new distribution center next spring in Southeast Baltimore, where it expects to hire more than 1,000 workers. It has already hired part-time and seasonal workers to staff a smaller "sortation" center nearby that will open this fall.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Ethridge and Mary Ethridge,KNIGHT-RIDDER/TRIBUNE | January 15, 2001
"If you don't like it, you can always return it," they say. "My feelings won't be hurt." You may have heard this more than once during the holidays from well-meaning relatives as they handed over beautifully wrapped boxes containing - oops - the wrong size sweater or a book you already have. Well, ha! That's easy for them to say. They might as well tell you to complete the Iditarod naked or to count butterfly ballots with your teeth. Exchanging unwanted holiday gifts has always been a harrowing experience rife with long lines and Byzantine return policies.
NEWS
November 29, 2012
Contrary to what a recent letter writer may think ("Internet sales tax will hurt small businesses," Nov. 18), collection of state sales taxes on online retail transactions will be a boon to small businesses in Maryland. Small businesses currently face unfair and detrimental competition from online-only retailers who exploit the loophole in our nation's sales tax laws to avoid collecting and remitting state sales taxes. The current legislation - the Marketplace Fairness Act and the Marketplace Equity Act - before Congress is designed to eliminate the 6 percent price disadvantage and level the playing field for small, in-state businesses.
BUSINESS
Lorraine Mirabella | December 17, 2012
  Thousands of retailers are offering free shipping today, with delivery guaranteed by Christmas Eve. But which retailers are the most reliable when it comes to shipping during one of the busiest weeks of the year? One survey, based on shipping times in November, shows Zappos, Staples and OfficeDepot.com leading the way, delivering packages in one day, on average. The survey shows that JCPenney.com took the longest, an average of nine days. Others on the slower end of the spectrum included store.Apple.com, with a six-day average, Target.com, with six days, seven hours, and Walmart.com, with six days, 16 hours.
NEWS
November 26, 2010
Cyber Monday travel deals What's the deal: If you missed Black Friday, there's still time to catch a travel deal on Cyber Monday — online retailers' answer to the brick-and-mortar post-Thanksgiving extravaganza. Many Americans are making at least part of their travel arrangements online, so you might as well click your way to some savings. Here are a few examples I've seen so far: •Hotels.com is offering up to 50 percent off room rates when you book online and use code 4DAY.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | October 23, 2013
When Amazon.com opens a huge distribution center next year in Southeast Baltimore, consumers across the state who buy books, electronics, toys or anything else from the online seller will no longer be able to avoid the state's 6 percent sales tax. Consumers might not like it, but that's just fine with many retailers in Maryland, who say the online giant enjoyed that competitive advantage for too long. Seattle-based Amazon announced plans Tuesday to open a 1 million-square-foot warehouse that will employ 1,000 full-time workers at the site of the former General Motors plan on Broening Highway, a move welcomed by city and state officials.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | February 15, 2014
Susan Aplin worked behind the scenes for two decades helping run some of the biggest retail stores around - Williams-Sonoma, Sports Authority, Staples, The Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Pottery Barn. But it wasn't until she and friend Carolyn Wapnick took a vacation to Alaska's Prince William Sound that she found her true calling: retail with a cause. As a result of the trip, the duo founded bambeco, an online seller of sustainable home furnishings. Since 2009, the Baltimore-based retailer has grown from two employees to nearly two dozen and attracted more than $4 million worth of investment.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | October 23, 2013
When Amazon.com opens a huge distribution center next year in Southeast Baltimore, consumers across the state who buy books, electronics, toys or anything else from the online seller will no longer be able to avoid the state's 6 percent sales tax. Consumers might not like it, but that's just fine with many retailers in Maryland, who say the online giant enjoyed that competitive advantage for too long. Seattle-based Amazon announced plans Tuesday to open a 1 million-square-foot warehouse that will employ 1,000 full-time workers at the site of the former General Motors plan on Broening Highway, a move welcomed by city and state officials.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | August 23, 2013
The huge warehouse planned for Southeast Baltimore fits the profile of online retailer Amazon's rapidly expanding distribution network, according to shipping industry analysts. The 1 million-square-foot facility is so big it only makes sense for a handful of companies, such as Amazon or Walmart, the analysts said. A Walmart spokeswoman said Friday the Arkansas-based company has no plans to build a terminal in the Baltimore-Washington region. Amazon did not return messages seeking comment.
BUSINESS
Lorraine Mirabella | December 17, 2012
  Thousands of retailers are offering free shipping today, with delivery guaranteed by Christmas Eve. But which retailers are the most reliable when it comes to shipping during one of the busiest weeks of the year? One survey, based on shipping times in November, shows Zappos, Staples and OfficeDepot.com leading the way, delivering packages in one day, on average. The survey shows that JCPenney.com took the longest, an average of nine days. Others on the slower end of the spectrum included store.Apple.com, with a six-day average, Target.com, with six days, seven hours, and Walmart.com, with six days, 16 hours.
NEWS
November 29, 2012
Contrary to what a recent letter writer may think ("Internet sales tax will hurt small businesses," Nov. 18), collection of state sales taxes on online retail transactions will be a boon to small businesses in Maryland. Small businesses currently face unfair and detrimental competition from online-only retailers who exploit the loophole in our nation's sales tax laws to avoid collecting and remitting state sales taxes. The current legislation - the Marketplace Fairness Act and the Marketplace Equity Act - before Congress is designed to eliminate the 6 percent price disadvantage and level the playing field for small, in-state businesses.
NEWS
November 26, 2012
Retail analysts reported a curious trend this Black Friday. On the traditional first shopping day of the Christmas season, the number of visits to malls, big box stores and other retailers increased, according to the analytics firm ShopperTrak, but the amount spent in brick-and-mortar businesses actually went down slightly from last year's total. Online shopping, meanwhile, jumped ahead of its traditional Cyber Monday kick-off and exceeded $1 billion on the Friday after Thanksgiving for the first time.
NEWS
May 21, 2014
Congress needs to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) so there is real and fair competition reflecting 21st century commerce. America was built on promoting economic growth and business in a fashion that ensures fair competition for all. Today, online-only retailers are not required to charge and collect sales tax, while local businesses must. However, the sales tax (in all but five states) is still owed. The collection of these taxes is difficult to enforce unless online sellers have either a physical store or a warehouse within the state.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella | May 9, 2012
Online shoppers prefer Walmart to Target. That's one of the findings of an index released today that scores the top 100 online retailers on customer satisfaction. ForeSee's Top 100 E-Retail Satisfaction Index based its analysis on nearly 21,000 surveys of online shoppers in the first quarter of 2012. The scores, calculated on a 100-point scale, range from a high of 89 for Amazon to a low of 69 for Ancestry.com and efollett.com. The top six, all with scores of 83 or higher, were Amazon, Apple, QVC, Keurig, Avon and L.L. Bean.
BUSINESS
By Chris Korman, The Baltimore Sun | September 24, 2012
In years past, Nathaniel Scroggins spent late August and early September finding ways to de-emphasize the Orioles gear at the Sport Shop store in Harborplace. Whatever was left from summer got tucked into one corner, while Ravens gear swarmed the space. Last Friday, though, the store manager stood in the central aisle, flanked by orange on one side and black on the other. "It's a totally different feeling this year," Scroggins said. Nationwide, sales of Orioles merchandise increased 278 percent year-over-year for a period of four weeks spanning late August and early September, according to an analysis by SportsOneSource, a research firm focused on the sporting goods industry.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella | May 9, 2012
Online shoppers prefer Walmart to Target. That's one of the findings of an index released today that scores the top 100 online retailers on customer satisfaction. ForeSee's Top 100 E-Retail Satisfaction Index based its analysis on nearly 21,000 surveys of online shoppers in the first quarter of 2012. The scores, calculated on a 100-point scale, range from a high of 89 for Amazon to a low of 69 for Ancestry.com and efollett.com. The top six, all with scores of 83 or higher, were Amazon, Apple, QVC, Keurig, Avon and L.L. Bean.
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