Appleton, Wisc.-based Book World Inc. has announced that it is closing all bookstores in its Book World chain that operates 45 outlets across the Midwest. In a letter to its business partners and vendors as well as in a release sent to media, Book World said that liquidation sales will begin on November 2 at all 45 locations. The sales will continue until all inventory -- books, magazines, greeting cards, gifts, and other sidelines – is gone. The company expects that all stores will be closed by January 15. In the letter to Book World’s business partners, senior v-p Mark Dupont said that while the chain had been able to weather the advent of e-books, in the past 12 months sales started plummeting and still continue to drop. Dupont attributed the downturn to the national consumer shift towards e-commerce and away from large department stores. This, Dupont wrote, “has triggered the loss of vital mall anchor stores and a downward spiral in customer counts, reducing sales to a level that will no longer sustain our business.” Click Read More below for additional information.
ACMA’s Legal Team Successfully Leads Online Seller Newegg in ‘Bama
While not necessarily a precursor to the forthcoming Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., we’re excited to report a significant win for ACMA’s lawyers at Brann & Isaacson. Yesterday, the Alabama Tax Tribunal ruled in favor of e-commerce merchant Newegg in its challenge when the Alabama Department of Revenue sought enforcement of its economic nexus regulation in 2016.
This ruling negates the first significant “Kill Quill” measure by Alabama Commissioner of Revenue Julie Magee, to promulgate the rule that required companies such as Newegg to register to collect the sales tax even though they did not have a physical presence. Newegg was one of the few companies that fought the Department.
The AL Department of Revenue argued that the State can impose tax collection obligations on any company as long as permitted to do so under the U.S. Constitution. The Department also argued that the Quill v. North Dakota precedent is no longer good law, so that the Commerce Clause authorized assessment based upon sales to the state.
The Tribunal rejected this argument, stating that Quill remains the law of the land unless and until the Supreme Court changes the law. Also, the Department argued that Newegg’s online promotions in the State required it to collect. But the Tribunal held that merely operating a website and sending emails does not constitute distribution of promotional materials.
As you know, Brann & Isaacson represents the ACMA in our suits against OH, MA, SD, WY, IN, and TN. The significance of this victory is that if the Supreme Court were to abrogate Quill it would not be given retroactive effect. Furthermore, the Department has committed not to enforce the Rule until it has modified the Rule to incorporate the changes that may be required as a result of the SD v. Wayfair decision.