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• The Chicago Sun Times reports that plans to open a fourth distribution center in Arizona, “giving the state a nod for its hands-off stance on the issue of pressing online retailers to collect sales tax on shoppers’ purchases ... Amazon also announced last week that it would open a fourth Indiana distribution center just outside of Indianapolis. Indiana officials four years ago offered not to push the tax issue in recruiting Amazon to the state.”

• It was announced last week that a new Beauty Bar store will be opening at a Long Island, New York, mall - noteworthy because Beauty Bar is owned by Quidsi, which was acquired by Amazon a little over a month ago. Thus, Beauty Bar becomes an actual brick-and-mortar store opened by, which until now has stuck to the virtual retail environment.

Internet Retailer reports that “ShopRunner, the fledgling shipping service designed to help retailers compete with the free shipping offers of Inc., is preparing to release a mobile app that could give retail chains with bricks-and-mortar stores an edge over web-only retailers like Amazon.

“The ShopRunner app would enable a consumer inside a store to scan an item’s bar code with her mobile phone to see which retailers participating in ShopRunner offer the item online or in nearby stores. That would keep the shopper away from offers from non-ShopRunner retailers, like Amazon, while directing them to nearby stores operated by such ShopRunner clients as Toys ‘R’ Us, Sports Authority, PetSmart, AutoZone and Radio Shack.”
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