ARLINGTON, VA – February 14, 2013 – Food Marketing Institute (FMI) today applauds the legislative effort to ensure brick and mortar food retailer establishments can compete fairly against online retailers, and that sales taxes are applied equally across sales channels.

The authors of the Marketplace Fairness Act, Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-SD); and Representatives Steve Womack (R-AR), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Peter Welch (D-VT) and John Conyers (D-MI), introduced the legislation today. Articulated in the bill, states can opt in and require online retailers to remit a sales tax on goods.

“Inequities in Internet commerce are already taking a big bite out of neighborhood supermarkets, state coffers and employment in local communities because online retailers aren’t required to collect sales tax,” said FMI Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs Jennifer Hatcher.

Hatcher remarked, “Ninety-two percent of FMI members recognized ecommerce would have a fundamental impact on their businesses, given the demand among consumers. Forty-eight percent of food retailers offer online shopping, and the anticipated growth for this commerce channel will jump considerably in the next five years.”

“The landscape is changing – we want and need a level playing field to compete,” Hatcher continued. “Our industry has about a one percent profit margin, so when we face a 3-8 percent disadvantage with any given transaction, depending on the sales tax law, it is unfair and negatively impacts our neighborhood supermarkets, communities and the millions of people we employ in every congressional district in this country.”

For Media:

  • Marketplace Fairness Coalition information - including a list of companies and organizations that support federal legislation, please visit

  • Follow the Coalition and FMI on Twitter @MFCoalition and @FMI_GR

  • View a list of tax rates by state:

  • Survey data from FMI’s 2012 U.S. Food Retailing Industry Speaks


Food Marketing Institute (FMI) conducts programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations on behalf of its nearly 1,250 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world. FMI’s U.S. members operate more than 25,000 retail food stores and almost 22,000 pharmacies with a combined annual sales volume of nearly $650 billion.  FMI’s retail membership is composed of large multi-store chains, regional firms and independent operators. Its international membership includes 126 companies from more than 65 countries. FMI’s nearly 330 associate members include the supplier partners of its retail and wholesale members.