Editor’s Note: Supreme court hands brick-and-mortar a win

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Editor’s Note: Supreme court hands brick-and-mortar a win

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday, by a 5-4 vote, that states may impose sales taxes on internet businesses, even if they don't have physical locations in that state.

The big winners in this decision? Traditional brick and mortar retailers.

Why? Because the playing field was just made much more level by the High Court’s decision. Not collecting sales tax gave online retailers anywhere from a 5% to 9.98% advantage (depending on the state) over traditional retailers in terms of the price of the product. That advantage has just been taken away and makes it easier for brick-and-mortar merchants to play on the same field as digital operators.

This decision is a big win for retail. But now the onus is on brick-and-mortar retailers to keep up with digital retailing in terms of promotional efforts and other means to keep consumers coming through their front doors.