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Holiday shoppers avoid taxes on online-only sites
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 9:00 AM

The scripts are available for printing and for sound bite identification.

Go to http://www.wichita.edu/newsline to get the current Wichita State University Newsline. If you cannot access the Newsline at the Web address above, contact Joe Kleinsasser at (316) 978-3013 or cell (316) 204-8266 or joe.kleinsasser@wichita.edu. Newsline cuts may be edited to suit your needs. If you have additional questions for Cindy Claycomb after listening to the WSU Newsline, please contact her at (316) 978-6938 or cindy.claycomb@wichita.edu.

Background:
Shopping for Christmas gifts has changed dramatically in the past decade. Online sales continue to chip away at those who prefer shopping at retail stores. Wichita State University marketing expert Cindy Claycomb says many shoppers are taking advantage of avoiding taxes by shopping on online-only sites.

Voice wrap:
Announcer: Holiday shoppers are rushing to stores to find gifts for friends and loved ones. Meanwhile, other shoppers prefer to shop online from the comfort of their home. Wichita State University marketing expert Cindy Claycomb says the battle for those shopping dollars continues to escalate.

Claycomb: "Online sales have really grown and especially during the holidays to the point where now it's a concern for brick and mortar stores and the effect that those online sales can have on their sales."

Announcer: As recently as 2006, online spending was $608 million. This year it was more than $1.2 billion. One explanation for the popularity of online shopping is that shoppers of online-only sites don't have to pay a sales tax. But Claycomb says that advantage will likely end in the next year or two, and that could help level the playing field for all retailers. This is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University.

Sound bite #1
Claycomb points out some of the advantages for online shoppers. The sound bite is 14 seconds and the outcue is "in your pajamas."

Claycomb: "There are some real advantages for online shoppers. First of all, it's really easy to do research on products. Online sites are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And it's really convenient for shoppers. You can shop when you want. You can shop in your pajamas."

Sound bite #2
Claycomb says retail stores have advantages, too. The sound bite is 14 seconds and the outcue is "and buy it."

Claycomb: "There are some real advantages for retail stores or your brick-and-mortar stores also. Shoppers can go in and touch and feel and try on products before they buy. And oftentimes there's just no waiting for products. You go into a store and buy it."

Sound bite #3
Claycomb explains some disadvantages for online shoppers. The sound bite is 13 seconds and the outcue is "shoes fit."

Claycomb: "There are some disadvantages for online shoppers. Returns aren't as easy. You have to repackage materials and mail those products back if you want to. And you can't try things on before you buy them. You can't make sure shoes fit."

Sound bite #4
Claycomb says retail stores also have some disadvantages. The sound bite is 15 seconds and the outcue is "that you might like."

Claycomb: "There are some disadvantages for retail shoppers. Stores aren't open 24/7 often. There are crowds to compete with, and sometimes it's hard to find what you want. Retailers don't always have the inventory on hand that you might like."

Sound bite #5
Claycomb says online-only shopping sites have one major advantage. The sound bite is 10 seconds and the outcue is "online-only sites."

Claycomb: "There's a major advantage for shoppers of online-only sites. And they can save money because you don't pay sales tax on online-only sites."

Sounds bite #6
Claycomb says the advantage for online-only sites may not last much longer. The sound bite is 10 seconds and the outcue is "for all retailers."

Claycomb: "That major advantage of not paying sales tax on an online-only site is probably going to come to an end in the next year or two. And that could help level the playing field for all retailers."

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Contact: Cindy Claycomb, (316) 978-6938 or cindy.claycomb@wichita.edu.