IRMA Encouraged By Preliminary Holiday Shopping Totals

By Benjamin Cox on December 18, 2019 at 12:28pm

Illinois retailers are encouraged by this year’s holiday retail season numbers so far. Rob Karr, President and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association says that shoppers came out in record numbers so far this year. “We saw over that Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday stretch very good numbers. Thanksgiving sales were up 14.5% over last year. Black Friday was up 20% over last year. Black Friday this year was the first time sales had crossed over the $7 billion mark. For the fourth year in a row, Amazon had its biggest day on Cyber Monday. Combined over those days, they had over $10 billion in sales, which is a 70% increase over last year, so it’s off to a good start.”

Karr says that retailers are beginning to adapt to the way people shop. Karr said that big box stores are including more interactive shopping experiences while online retailers are no longer off in their own sectors of the Internet, but truly competing with one another on price.

Karr says that Illinois retailers will reap the benefits of the large amount of online sales this year due to the collection of local sales taxes. “IRMA successfully led a coalition that got legislation that will be phased in on local sales tax collection. Thanks to the Supreme Court in Wayfair v. South Dakota, remote retailers will now be required to collection and remit not just the state’s use tax, which is 6.25% that will go into effect in January of 2020 – but in January 2021 they will also be required to collect any locally imposed sales tax for that product that is shipped. If you buy something for example from Wayfair, they will have to collect and remit the tax wherever you are having that product shipped and they will have pay those taxes to the municipality like Jacksonville.”

With the Supreme Court’s decision, online shoppers are estimated to be paying local and state governments for the taxes between 13 to 20 billion dollars over the next year. Experts say that despite the new requirements for taxes, online and brick and mortar stores will continue to battle for business either through pricing or convenience.