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Retail Law Advisor

Category Archives: Retail

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E-commerce Is Changing the Definition of Retail Employment

Posted in E-commerce, Employment, Retail, Retail Sales

The retail landscape is in the midst of a mind-boggling – and fast-moving – evolution.  In a short amount of time, Americans have radically changed how they shop for things, utilizing multiple channels of shopping to meet their needs.  80% of Americans are now shopping online, and they utilize e-commerce for a wide range of… Continue Reading

Is Artificial Intelligence the Key to Retail Survival?

Posted in Retail, Retail Sales, Technology

In light of the sea change in the current retail landscape, which was punctuated by the recent acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon, retailers today are forced to ask themselves: How will we combat disruption in our industry by giants like Amazon and its few peers? To what extent should we migrate to mobile shopping… Continue Reading

Happy 4th of July!

Posted in Holiday, Retail

During this week, we pause to proudly celebrate freedom across the United States. Our blogging team will resume providing timely information about issues that may be facing the retail industry next week. Thank you for subscribing to our retail blog.  Have a safe and happy Fourth of July! Warm Wishes, The Retail Law Advisor editorial… Continue Reading

Retailers Grow Successfully by Introducing New Brands

Posted in Retail, Retail Sales

As fashion retailers across the country jostle for market share in an ever-changing and ever-competitive marketplace, some retailers are trying to improve their bottom lines not by adjusting or expanding their offerings in each store but by opening differently branded stores separate from their flagship brands. Many retailers, especially those in the fashion world, have… Continue Reading

Amazon & Wal-Mart: Pinky and The Brain of Retail

Posted in Retail, Retail Sales

In the opening montage of the American animated series, Pinky and The Brain, Pinky asks his best friend, The Brain: “What do you want to do tonight?” To which The Brain replies: “The same thing we do every night; try to take over the world!” Doug McMillon (CEO of Wal-Mart) and Jeff Bezos (CEO of… Continue Reading

Forging a Legal Firewall: Recent Decisions May Shield Retailers from ADA-Based Website Inaccessibility Claims

Posted in Employment, Litigation, Retail

In a post published earlier this year, we commented on a surge of lawsuits being filed under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination in the full and free enjoyment of public accommodations on the basis of disability. Where websites and mobile applications serve as extensions… Continue Reading

Boutique Retail Hotels: Introducing The New Meaning Of “In Room” Shopping

Posted in Hospitality, Retail, Retail Sales

In this ever changing world, retailers are continuing to invent new ways to highlight their products, provide customers with an interactive experience and to stay competitive. We have previously discussed strategies used by brick and mortar stores to compete with their online counterparts, but retailers know that they need to think even further outside of… Continue Reading

Class Action Lawsuits on the Rise under New Jersey’s Consumer Protection Laws – Which Retailers Will Be Targeted Next?

Posted in Litigation, Retail, Retail Sales

Does your retail business conduct sales online? For most retailers today, the answer is likely yes. This means that the recent surge of class action lawsuits against merchants arising out of a consumer protection law in New Jersey called the Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA) merits your attention. This statute is still relatively… Continue Reading

ICSC RECon 2017 – ICSC RECon Continues to Draw the Crowds

Posted in Real Estate, Retail

ICSC RECon 2017 was held last week from May 21-24 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This year, the conference lived up to its billing as the “World’s Largest Retail Real Estate Convention” with an estimated crowd of 37,000.  This represents about a 2.7% increase over last year and continues the trend of growing attendance… Continue Reading

Getting Past the Last Mile: Delivery Challenges For E-Commerce Businesses

Posted in Retail, Retail Sales

E-commerce businesses have changed the relationship between consumers and retailers through the advent of expedited and low-cost home delivery services. Now, many consumers anticipate both free shipping with their purchase, and to receive their items in a short one to two day window. While there is significant growth in the online shopping market, high shipping… Continue Reading

The Future of Urban Retail: A Business Real Estate Roundtable

Posted in Real Estate, Retail

As the competitive retail marketplace continues to shape itself, we take an active role monitoring trends and uncovering the legal ramifications.  This week, we are pleased to share Crain’s New York Business Real Estate Roundtable. In this piece, the discussion centers on The Future of Urban Retail. Our partner and leader in New York real… Continue Reading

Give Me a Break: Break Me Off a Piece of That…Meal Kit?

Posted in Restaurants, Retail

Short on time and patience, consumers are jumping on the bandwagon of meal kits and meal kit delivery services, which have taken the retail food industry by storm.  Meal kits and meal kit delivery services – such as, Plated, Blue Apron, HelloFresh and Purple Carrot – are all the rage these days primarily due to… Continue Reading

Blazing the Trail: SJC to Decide Medical Marijuana Discrimination Case

Posted in Employment, Retail

Marijuana in the workplace is currently a hot topic for retail employers, especially since voters in Massachusetts and other states legalized the recreational use of marijuana in November 2016. The law that passed and became effective in December 2016 explicitly notes that employers retain their authority to implement policies and practices restricting employees’ use of marijuana,… Continue Reading

To Tax or Not to Tax Internet Retailers, that is the Question

Posted in Retail, Retail Sales, Tax

Since the dawn of the age of e-commerce, brick-and-mortar retailers have championed “the level playing field”. Their battle cry: Internet retailers should be subject to sales tax just like us! This disparity is largely the result of a 1992 US Supreme Court decision, Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, in which SCOTUS found that a business… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Says ‘Give Me a ©’ to the Fashion Industry

Posted in Intellectual Property, Litigation, Retail

A recent U.S. Supreme Court copyright decision analyzing cheerleader uniforms may have a profound impact on retailers, and on the fashion industry in particular. On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court held in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. that original design elements that are separable from the “useful article” upon which they are… Continue Reading

The Rise of Concierge Retail

Posted in Retail, Retail Sales

Retailers have always had to balance a number of different competing factors in order to stay competitive, including location, marketing and convenience. As discussed in this space, in today’s market, many retailers are employing an omni-channel retail strategy, making their items available for purchase through multiple channels, such as in-store, online and via smartphone devices…. Continue Reading

Tip Pooling by Restaurant Owners-Remains in Flux

Posted in Restaurants, Retail

Restaurant owners with tipped employees should take note of several recent court cases which may affect their ability to cause restaurant employees to participate in “tip pooling,” particularly in instances where back-of-house employees are included in such tip pooling arrangements. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) allows employers to fulfill part of their federal minimum… Continue Reading

End Of An Era Or Simply a Moment In Time?

Posted in Landlords, Leasing, Real Estate, Retail, Retail Sales, Tenant

What conclusions can we draw from the increasing vacancy rates in prime NYC retail real estate?  A momentary blip? Something we’ve seen many times before, only to be followed by the inevitable climb in rents to their customary stratospheric levels? Analysts claim that rents in the retail sweet spot of Madison Avenue between 57th and… Continue Reading

How Grocery Stores Are Starting to Cash in on the Blue Apron Trend

Posted in Retail

The Rise of the Gourmet Home Chef Boxed meal delivery services like Blue Apron and Plated have steadily risen in popularity since they entered the market in 2012. Meal kit delivery services offer consumers a no-hassle way to cook meals at home, without having to find recipes, plan meals, or go grocery shopping. Instead, each… Continue Reading

When in Rome: Our Take on the ICSC OAC (Open Air Summit)

Posted in Retail, Retail Sales

We know from our high school history lessons that large scale public shopping centers have been around since the days of the Roman Empire, if not before. The fabled open air markets of cities like Istanbul and Damascus still exist today and are often the backdrop of our favorite action movies and TV shows (anyone… Continue Reading

Copyright Compliance: (Re-)Register Your DMCA Agent in 2017 to Keep Your Website Docked in the Safe Harbor

Posted in Intellectual Property, Retail, Technology

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) “safe harbor” provisions shield certain online service providers from copyright infringement liability arising from content posted by users on their website. Provided that the service provider registers its DMCA agent and complies with the other statutory requirements, the service provider may encourage user interaction with its website with peace… Continue Reading

Leveraging Digital Tech to Make Brick and Mortar Retail A Destination

Posted in Retail, Retail Sales, Technology

With a growing percentage of retail sales shifting online, brick-and-mortar retailers are adopting novel approaches to enrich the experience of avisit to their stores. In some cases, stores are using novel technologies to attract new customers. For a limited time, Bloomingdale’s flagship in Manhattan featured a “Clothing-to-Go” window display offering passersby the opportunity to control the… Continue Reading

The Ascendency of Accessibility: Surge in Website Lawsuits Continues

Posted in Compliance, Employment, Restaurants, Retail, Technology

The proliferation of accessibility lawsuits under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has not abated. It is well-documented that ADA-related litigation increased by 37% from 2015 to 2016, which is symptomatic of long-term trends. Growth is fueled in part by litigants’ increased focus on internet-based technologies, including websites and mobile applications. This… Continue Reading

ICSC Mid-Atlantic Conference & Deal Making Recap

Posted in Landlords, Leasing, Real Estate, Restaurants, Retail, Tenant

With seemingly all of the country’s attention focused on Washington DC lately, we snuck out of the District and across the Potomac River to National Harbor last week for ICSC’s 2017 Mid-Atlantic Conference and Deal Making. The conference was very well attended, and the mood among attendees and presenters was generally upbeat. Anecdotally, the sentiment… Continue Reading