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Retail Law Advisor

Category Archives: Retail

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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

The Power of the Melody Pushes Fashion Forward

Posted in Retail, Retail Sales

The many genres of music – particularly, rock, pop, hip-hop and country – have always pushed the needle forward in fashion. Musical icons from today and yesteryear have given a voice to fashion by creating a kinetic experience full of imagery and a visceral aesthetic that retailers long to foster in their brick and mortar… Continue Reading

The (Border) Adjustment Bureau: Hold On to Your (Imported) Hats

Posted in Cross Border, Retail, Retail Sales, Tax

Retailers would be wise to pay close attention to the upcoming tax-plan deliberations of the 115th U.S. Congress. A proposal currently being considered would adjust the U.S. corporate tax by making imports a non-deductible expense. This adjustment is intended to create incentives for domestic production, as companies would no longer be able to reduce their… Continue Reading

Oh the Sidewalks Outside Are Frightful, But Landlords Will Make Them Delightful… or Will They?

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

Although we haven’t seen much snow accumulation in the northeast to date, we know that this can (and likely will) change before the warmer weather returns. Before the snow really begins to fall, it would behoove both landlords and tenants to become informed about their snow clearing responsibilities and to ensure removal plans are in… Continue Reading

Upscale Food Halls—On Trend and On The Rise

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

The growth of high-end food halls is taking off around the country as consumers seek fast, fresh, high-quality, chef-driven meals with a local touch, and as landlords seek to cash in on the continued growth of fast-casual dining. These boutique-style, upscale food halls are modeled more after famous European markets like Barcelona’s Mercado de la… Continue Reading

Amazon Go: Let’s Get (More) Physical

Posted in Retail, Retail Sales

We recently noted that among the latest e-tail trends is the expansion of once exclusively online retail operations into physical store locations. In-store sales continue to dominate over online sales, with the U.S. Census Bureau reporting that online sales in the third quarter of 2016 accounted for only about 7.7% of all retail sales (which… Continue Reading

Mobile Payments: Exciting but Unknown

Posted in Restaurants, Retail, Retail Sales, Security, Technology

Mobile payment options are no longer the wave of the future. They are already here. It was projected that there would be almost 450 million mobile payment users worldwide by the end of 2016. These users generated $60 billion in mobile payment sales in 2016 alone.  Certain studies project that by the year 2020, 90… Continue Reading

Coming to a Retailer Near You: Made in USA Labeling Requirements

Posted in Regulatory, Retail, Retail Sales

Patriotism is a hot topic in the United States. One study shows 51% of American consumers will pay higher prices to buy American made products. Not surprisingly, manufacturers actively promote products with the red, white and blue labels proudly proclaiming “Made in USA” to capture those consumers. In fact, some iconic American brands such as… Continue Reading

A Tale of Two Conventions: MAPIC and ICSC New York

Posted in Retail

Autumn has been a busy time for our Retail, Restaurant and Consumer team, with our attendance at two major industry events each attracting thousands of attendees. Interestingly, both events recorded their largest attendance numbers to date, and given Brexit and the results of the U.S. presidential election there was much fodder for discussion. Here’s what… Continue Reading

Blockchain – The Future of Real Estate?

Posted in Finance, Real Estate, Retail, Retail Sales, Technology

Bitcoin and blockchain technology have been gaining publicity in recent years, and although they are primarily known for their use as a digital payment system, there are also promising uses in many areas where trust, cost and efficiency can be improved, including real estate. So what is blockchain, exactly? Blockchain is a distributed ledger system… Continue Reading

FTC Publishes Data Breach Response Guidelines

Posted in Retail, Security, Technology

Whether resulting from a planned cyberattack or mere carelessness, data breaches are on the rise. In 2015, 781 data breaches were reported across the United States, with the average breach costing $3.8 million. In 2016, the total number of breaches is projected to increase, with the average cost per breach at $4 million, up 5%… Continue Reading

May your Days be Merry and Blue Laws Compliant

Posted in Compliance, Holiday, Retail, Retail Sales

‘Tis the season to eat turkey, drink pumpkin-flavored lattes, and, of course, shop.  With Black Friday and the holiday season just around the corner, it is important for retailers to remember that Massachusetts has specific laws that restrict when and if businesses can operate on Sundays and holidays and that address employee compensation and scheduling… Continue Reading

What Now? Post-Election Thoughts for the Retail Industry

Posted in Retail, Retail Sales

Elections are emotionally charged events and yesterday’s U.S. Presidential Election proved no exception.  Regardless of which way you voted, we now have a new President in Donald Trump. So, what does his election mean for retail sales?  No one can say for sure at this point, but we thought Forbes.com provided a compelling commentary. Here… Continue Reading

Industry-Wide Confidence Shines Through At ICSC’s 2016 Law Conference

Posted in Retail

The 2016 ICSC Law Conference was held last week at the Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Florida.  Attendance was very strong this year, with over 1425 lawyers, paralegals, lease administrators, brokers and other retail real estate professionals attending. The strong participation seems to reflect wider confidence in our industry, with companies willing to send their teams… Continue Reading