Market Overview

Dylan's Candy Bar Masters Compounding Tax Complexity with Avalara as It Expands into New Countries, Channels, and Candies

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Is chocolate
caramel popcorn
food or candy? When taxing a Farmers Market Mason
Jar, do you tax the gummy peaches, cherries, and watermelons separately
from the mason jar itself? These are the types of questions Dylan's
Candy Bar
, the largest state-of-the-art sweets emporium and
lifestyle brand, is faced with when it comes to taxes. Managing a
global, omnichannel business for the world's best sweets caused the
Dylan's Candy Bar accounting team to find itself in the middle of a tax
maelstrom. To combat the global tax complexities of selling candy and
accessories worldwide, Dylan's Candy Bar implemented the Avalara tax
compliance suite to mitigate risk as the company accelerated growth.

"The company was on its third consecutive sales tax audit when I
arrived," said Lois Browne, Vice President of Finance at Dylan's Candy
Bar. "It was really grueling. Every time an auditor came in we would
have two people completely dedicated to that for at least three weeks.
Our exposure was so high, we couldn't afford not to prioritize it."
Browne expanded, "After implementing Avalara we answer with such
confidence and authority; the auditors can move on to someone else."

Last year, Dylan's Candy Bar was looking to expand into additional
domestic and international brick-and-mortar properties and put an
increased emphasis on ecommerce. During this time, the company
implemented new technologies to improve accuracy and efficiency and to
support the company's growth strategies. Now, across all of its
financial and resource planning technologies, Dylan's Candy Bar relies
on Avalara to manage its tax compliance requirements.

For growing businesses like Dylan's Candy Bar, common triggers of new
tax requirements include expanding product offerings, selling into new
geographic areas, or implementing new back-end planning technology. For
Dylan's Candy Bar, all of these triggers happened concurrently. Today,
the company has 21 store locations in the United States including its
flagship HQ in New York City, carries more than 7,000 types of candy,
and is visited annually by more than 6 million customers. The company
has plans to double its ecommerce sales within the next two years.

"Our role as an accounting team is to keep ahead of the business growth.
For a company with growth goals like Dylan's Candy Bar, being ahead of
supply chain, purchasing, and sales teams, is as strategic as it is
stress-relieving. There is a different tax requirement for each item we
sell, and being able to manage that confidently is an asset to our
team," said Browne.

In order to keep pace with Dylan's Candy Bar growth, Browne implemented
three Avalara products: AvaTax
for calculating sales and use tax; Avalara
Returns
, for automated filing in every U.S. sales tax jurisdiction;
and Avalara
CertCapture
, for tax document and exemption management within its
supply chain. Benefits seen by the team include:

  • As the company expands into new geographies, AvaTax is already
    prepared to determine sales tax for the new locations — a process that
    can take some businesses months without automation technology. With
    AvaTax, Dylan's Candy Bar saved more than $100,000 annually in back
    taxes, interest, and penalties.
  • With Avalara Returns, Dylan's Candy Bar has eliminated the countless
    hours of labor it used to take to pay each jurisdiction individually.
    Dylan's Candy Bar now makes a single ACH payment, which Avalara uses
    to pay each jurisdiction individually and on time.
  • Tax exemption certificates are managed in a searchable cloud
    environment, with expirations, renewals, and missing certificates
    flagged automatically to the accounting team.

"Tax management can be a burden at best, and a barrier to growth at
worst. Browne and her team at Dylan's Candy Bar are using tax technology
to efficiently plan to enable growth for the company. Putting Avalara in
place to automate and stay ahead of growth has proven to be an asset for
the accounting team and Dylan's Candy Bar overall. We continue to
celebrate its success, and hope for a pop-up in Seattle someday," said
Scott McFarlane, CEO of Avalara.

For more information about how Dylan's Candy Bar uses Avalara to support
tax compliance across all areas of its business, read
the full case study
.

ABOUT AVALARA

Avalara helps businesses of all sizes get tax compliance right. In
partnership with leading ERP, accounting, ecommerce and other financial
management system providers, Avalara delivers cloud-based compliance
solutions for various transaction taxes, including sales and use, VAT,
excise, communications, and other indirect tax types. Headquartered in
Seattle, Avalara has offices across the U.S. and around the world in the
U.K., Belgium, Brazil, and India. More information at avalara.com.

ABOUT DYLAN'S CANDY BAR

Dylan's Candy Bar was founded in 2001 by Dylan Lauren with a mission to
awaken the creative spirit and inner child in everyone. Renown for
merging the worlds of art, fashion, and pop culture with candy, Dylan's
Candy Bar is a pioneer in changing the way we see candy. As the largest
state-of-the-art sweets emporium and candy lifestyle brand, Dylan's
Candy Bar is not your average "candy store." The modern-day candy land
is home to over more than 7,000 candies from around the world, making it
the most popular destination for the ultimate sugar rush experience.

Dylan's Candy Bar stores are currently located in New York City, Los
Angeles, East Hampton, Miami, and Chicago as well as several wholesale
venues around the country. Dylan's Candy Bar plans to continue expanding
to major cosmopolitan cities in the U.S. and worldwide. For more
information, please visit DylansCandyBar.com.

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