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July 14, 2014 - The Internet is the last new frontier, but the tax collectors are finally laying down the law. Ten years ago, Amazon designed a business around sales-tax-free commerce, creating a significant market advantage over brick-and-mortar retailers. Today, Amazon has resigned to the inevitable: that it too will have to comply with the same tax obligations as every other business in America.

So what brought about this change?

Read the full story on the Retail Merchandiser blog

July 11, 2014 — NYC & Company, New York City’s official tourism, marketing and partnership organization, this week announced Curious George as its sixth Official NYC Family Ambassador, a joint effort with NBCUniversal, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) and PBS KIDS. As part of the yearlong collaboration, adventurous explorer Curious George will encourage family travel to the City’s five boroughs by highlighting New York City as a family-friendly destination.

Read more: Curious George Named Official NYC Family Ambassador

July 7, 2014 — General Mills is tapping into the latest consumer-driven food trends with its new lineup of product innovation launching this summer. Cheerios Protein cereal, LÄRABAR RENOLA grain free granola, Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal, nacho cheese blasted Old El Paso taco shells, Suddenly Salad made with whole grains, indulgent Pillsbury Melts filled cookies and Häagen-Dazs Triple Sensations ice cream are among the more than 150 new products appearing across the U.S. and around the world.

Read more: General Mills Unveils New Product Lineup

July 2, 2014 – Advanstar Licensing, organizers of Licensing Expo, the world’s largest and most influential entertainment, brand and art licensing industry event saw another successful show earlier this month.

Over three days, 15,702 licensing professionals attended the show, representing a 5% increase from last year’s event. The show featured 482 exhibiting companies in 218,872 net square feet with an additional 100,0000 square feet of conference and special event space used daily. More press attended than ever before, with 120 journalists working the show and covering news from exhibitors.

Read more: Record-breaking year for Licensing Expo

July 1, 2014 - American retailer Express announced that brand ambassador Kate Upton will debut her first advertising campaign for the company. The launch of the fall 2014 denim campaign with Upton makes her the first celebrity spokesperson to grace the brand's advertising in more than a decade. Upton will celebrate the launch with an exclusive RSVP-only "A Date with Denim and Kate Upton" event at the recently opened Express Times Square store in New York City on Tuesday, July 8th.

Read more: Kate Upton, Express Debuting Ad Campaign

What Do Retailers and their Partners Need to Know in the Transforming Retail Landscape?

June 30, 2014 - Mike Relich, COO of Guess, Inc., spoke earlier this month about the massive transformation that’s occurring in the retail industry today. One attention grabbing statement he delivered was that one billion square feet of dead mall space exists today. This can be attributed to several causes ranging from e-commerce growth, to showrooming, to same day delivery.

But one thing that all of these factors have in common is the customer. It needs to be continually stressed that retailers have to be prepared to engage the shopper at all points in the omni-channel chain – from e-commerce interfacing to the in-store shopping experience. Successful retailers will habitually evaluate the performance of their stores and strategically fuel their supply chain accordingly.

Read the full story on the Retail Merchandiser blog

June 27, 2014 – Earlier this week, Artec Group and Asda announced their partnership as Asda becomes the first supermarket to bring a new cutting edge 3-D printing technology to shoppers in the UK with the installation of Artec's Shapify Booth. It is being billed as the world’s first high speed 3-D full body scanner in the Trafford Park store. The scanning booth will allow thousands of customers to create a 3-D miniature replica of themselves, which is being called a “shapie.”

Read more: Meet the Shapify Booth

June 24, 2014 - Front line staff are the face of your company. Whether you are a large retailer or small business, your employees will leave a lasting impression on each and every customer. That impression will determine whether or not that customer comes back and/or refers others. Keeping your front line staff positive and happy increases the likelihood staff will enjoy their jobs and go above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction.

There are so many aspects to owning and managing a retail establishment, employees sometimes unintentionally fall by the wayside. When staff do not feel valued or appreciated (either actual or perceived) the likelihood their discontent will spill over into their customer interactions increases significantly. Spending time on staff development is key. This article will discuss some ideas to help keep your front line staff smiling.

Read the full story on the Retail Merchandiser blog