Avalara, a prominent provider of tax compliance automation software for businesses, has joined forces with retail software provider Celerant to assist Mast General Store in addressing tax requirements associated with omnichannel retail sales.
Mast General Store, a family-owned retailer specializing in general goods and outdoor apparel, has embraced the synergy of Avalara and Celerant to facilitate its multichannel operations and effectively manage economic nexus obligations as the business expands into new regions.
Having relied on Celerant’s point-of-sale software and ecommerce solutions since 2008, Mast General Store confronted unique challenges during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Navigating shifts in consumer behavior, the store adopted an ecommerce-centric approach while also accommodating personnel limitations in its stores and distribution centers. This shift prompted the implementation of Celerant’s Stratus ecommerce solution, enabling “Best Store Fulfillment” – an automated tool for order fulfillment. This transformation expedited the fulfillment process, reducing the average delivery time from 3–5 days to same-day shipping for most orders.
Simultaneously, economic nexus emerged as another growth impediment. Economic nexus laws stipulate tax collection responsibilities based on a business’s level of economic activity within a state. The varying definitions of economic nexus thresholds across states necessitate vigilant tracking of new tax obligations triggered by reaching specific sales amounts or transaction volumes in different jurisdictions.
To overcome these challenges, Mast General Store integrated Avalara’s AvaTax and Avalara Returns. These solutions address economic nexus requirements in 14 states and streamline tax return filing for 11 states. Leveraging AvaTax for all website sales, the store can anticipate upcoming obligations even when economic nexus hasn’t been met in certain states yet. Additionally, Mast General Store effortlessly handles events like sales tax holidays and unexpected tax changes due to AvaTax’s regular updates reflecting evolving rates and regulations across the 13,000+ U.S. sales and use tax jurisdictions.
David Cliett, Vice President of Operations at Mast General Store, explained, “We’ve kept our eye on nexus obligations for a while, and as our website sales started to pick up using Celerant, we reached out to Avalara to make sure taxes didn’t stand in the way of our growth. Our accounting department was very pleased because working with Avalara, we’re able to devote more time to other important finance tasks, and we’re able to avoid having to face the learning curve it takes to learn to file across more states.”
By partnering with Avalara and Celerant, Mast General Store has successfully streamlined its omnichannel model, enabling efficient customer service while mitigating compliance risks associated with expanding into new channels and markets.
Liz Armbruester, EVP of Customer and Compliance Operations at Avalara, highlighted the collaboration’s significance: “With Avalara, Mast General Store is realizing worry-free and reliable tax calculation and filing as it expands to reach new customers. Thanks to Avalara’s partnership with Celerant, Mast General Store has been able to scale their operations and automate their tax compliance requirements through an easy-to-use integration.”
Zeke Hamdani, Director of Web Services at Celerant, added, “Having worked with Mast General Store for over 15 years, we’ve had the opportunity to help their business evolve, as we’ve significantly evolved as a company as well. Oftentimes, retailers evaluate the ‘best-in-breed’ versus the ‘all-in-one’ approach. Mast is the perfect example of how leveraging a single retail technology partner — across all channels — can streamline your business.”