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BRIEFS: October 28

Photo Espresso Wellington’s ‘Top Shop’

Photo Espresso, an innovative combined camera store and cafe, has been named Wellington’s Top Shop for 2010 (lLifestyle & Wellbeing) at the NZ Retailers Association Awards.

The store is owned by Suzi McGoldrick and staffed by barrista Ange Brosnan and Will Winter (pictured right), reports PMA New Zealand Newsline.

‘This is a very unique store offering something very special in service and surroundings, making the overall shopping experience very memorable,’ the judges commented.

‘We are a unique store! We are a espresso bar and camera store all in one, you can sit and have a coffee and chat, or you can print off your family photos, and while you wait for them to print enjoy a Mojo coffee, Ange Brosnan told PMA New Zealand.

‘We are also the only place in Wellington you can get Polaroid film, we have a great range of funky Lomo cameras and amazing staff to see to all of your needs,’

GST-free sales back on the agenda

Responding to a ‘groundswell of concern’ from retailers, the Australian Retailers Association has announced it will survey 5000 of its members regarding the $1000 GST-free threshold on privately imported goods,

This follows a renewed focus on the issue from the Australian Toy Association, which is compiling data on the scope of internet sales to prompt the government to reconsider its decision to maintain the $1000 threshold.

The ARA believes its survey of members will show the current GST ruling is a ‘threat to employment’

According to the Sydney Sun Herald, Australian consumers will spend about $12 billion online this year, with between 40 and 45 per cent spent on offshore purchases. This equates to the government missing out on at least $600 million in revenue by allowing foreign purchases costing less than $1000 to be exempt.

The Board of Taxation reviewed the application of GST to cross-border transactions in February this year, opting to leave the $1000 threshold in place. In New Zealand, the threshold is NZ$400.

‘The board found that it is not administratively feasible to apply the GST to low-value goods – that is, goods worth less than $1000 – that are imported from overseas,’ a Board of Taxation spokesperson told The Herald.

‘However, the Gillard Labor government understands the concerns of retailers and other stakeholders about this issue, particularly in light of the high Australian dollar. It deserves serious examination and, while the threshold is good for consumers, we need to balance that against the interests of retailers and the administrative burden on businesses.’

– But don’t hold your breath!

Facebook hits Target

Target in the US has announced Facebook connectivity with their in-store Kodak photo kiosks.

Instead of using a disk or card or USB to access digtial imaging files for printing, shoppers can now log on at the kiosk and browse their photo albums directly using the new Social Network Connectivity software. All the Kodak kiosk print options, from standard prints to calendars and photo books can be made via Facebook.

This follows Facebook’s recent decision to support photo downloads and allow storage of high resolution photos – leading to speculation that Facebook has some serious intent, photographically speaking.

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