NYC REIMPOSING APPAREL TAX: The New York City Council voted 48-3 on Wednesday to reimpose the sales tax on apparel purchases of up to $110 and to raise the city’s sales tax from 4 percent to 4.4 percent, effective Sunday, according to a Council spokesman. This will effectively raise the sales tax rate in the city to 8.625 percent, including the 4 percent state tax and a 0.25 percent levy for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The sales tax on clothing under $110 was phased out in March 2000 by the state and municipalities, though many areas have reimposed the tax over the past few years.
THEY’RE G-R-R-REAT: Expanding its reach beyond the cereal aisle of grocery stores, the Kellogg Co. has signed a licensing deal for a line of Special K branded women’s clothing. The line, to be produced by Bruce Brown Fashions Inc. and launched for fall retailing, focuses on activewear using “figure-flattering designs,” according to a statement from Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg. The company began a push to license its brands in nonfood categories in 2001 and has also expanded into categories including toys and coloring books. Most of its licensed products are distributed to mass merchants and grocery chains.
BLOOM LEAVES COLE: Jaryn Bloom has resigned as senior vice president of consumer direct at Kenneth Cole Productions after 16 years with the firm. She was unavailable for comment on her plans. Bloom was instrumental in the development of Kenneth Cole’s freestanding store operation, taking it from two stores to 49 full-price and 31 outlets in the U.S. and two full-price stores in the U.K. A successor has yet to be named.