Bankruptcy Lease Auctions – Landlords Can Play Too

Toys “R” Us filed for bankruptcy in September 2017, with hopes that a strong holiday season would facilitate a successful reorganization. After holiday sales proved to be far less lucrative than the company and its professionals had hoped, the  announcement was recently made  that the company would commence  store...
Go

No Relief in Sight from Website Accessibility Lawsuits

In February 2017, we reported on a surge in website accessibility lawsuits brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). This litigation trend has accelerated over the past year and shows no signs of slowing down . Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination against disabled persons in places...
Go

#Trending: Omnichannel Loyalty and Leveraging Social Media Channels

Technological advancements in the current digital age allow consumers to browse and buy products on smartphones and tablets, bringing an unlimited number of retail options to their fingertips—literally. Thus, in an effort to distinguish themselves, many brands are adopting omnichannel-based customer loyalty programs in favor of more traditional programs....
Go

Bringing Residential Uses to Existing Shopping Centers--A Win Win

Tenant curation, experiential retail , and social media-based marketing are thriving trends in today’s brick-and-mortar shopping center industry. Retail is not the only real estate asset class susceptible to trends, and a recent dominant trend in the multifamily residential sector may offer valuable opportunities for shopping center owners. For...
Go

Settlement Opens Door For Outer Borough Outlet Centers

In August 2017, Simon Property Group (“SPG”) and the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York (“NYAG”) entered into an Assurance of Discontinuance (the “Settlement”) regarding alleged anti-competitive effects of radius restrictions used by SPG in leases at the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets (“Woodbury Commons”)...
Go

A Grocery Attack on Multiple Fronts

Amazon has entered the grocery store space with a bang. From the recent opening of its AmazonGo store , to its acquisition of Whole Foods last August, Amazon has threatened to disrupt the grocery store industry and has jolted the stock price of many of its competitors. But will...
Go

Foreign Retailers Entering New Markets: Finding A Home Of One’s Own

The first task facing a retailer entering a new market ? To find its customer. This chore takes on more significance for foreign retailers venturing into a complex, expansive and heterogeneous market such as the United States. Depending upon the soundness of the choice, the proverbial pot at the...
Go

What Does Tax Reform Mean for Retail?

We all know now that the federal corporate tax rate for many retailers is dropping this year from an industry effective average rate of 32.9% to 21%, as a result of changes implemented by the so-called “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” which was signed into law on December 22,...
Go

Five Important Employment Trends for Massachusetts Retailers in 2018

Having survived the holiday shopping season, retailers should begin to prepare for any new employment laws that will go into effect in the coming year (and, of course, should ensure that they are complying with existing laws). This process can be even more challenging for retailers with stores in...
Go

Rise of the Drones: Flying Over Newton and Registration Requirements Reinstated

The skies are a little friendlier for drones now that the Dutch police have suspended their squad of drone-hunting eagles . This is also great news for retailers, as drone popularity continues to soar with overall electronics sales . With more advanced technologies available to consumers and drones rapidly...
Go

Vitamin D and Retail: But Not Without Due Diligence First

We’ve all read about the question marks floating around the fate of brick and mortar retail in America. Factors like the strength of e-commerce and shifting consumer preferences (such as the popularity of urban centers over suburbia and consumers’ yearn for experiences over traditional shopping trips) are challenging landlords...
Go

Teavana and Whole Foods: Is the Pendulum Swinging in Favor of Protecting Mall Landlords Against Strategic Tenant Closures?

As mall landlords continue to see substantial tenant vacancies, some landlords have begun to challenge solvent tenants who decide to go dark before the end of their lease. In two important recent cases — Simon Property Group, L.P. v. Starbucks Corporation, Case No. 49D01-1708-PL-032170 (Indiana Superior Court) and Bellevue...
Go

ICSC New York Deal Making (2017)

On December 6-7, the Javits Center played host to this years’ ICSC NY Deal Making Conference . ICSC featured a new format at this years’ Conference. In addition to the deal making opportunities on Wednesday and Thursday, ICSC partnered with retailers and leading  real estate companies to present several...
Go

Update: Tip Pooling by Restaurant Owners Remains in Flux

This past April, we reported on a recent Ninth Circuit ruling which upheld a 2011 Department of Labor (“DOL”) rule that prohibits restaurants from instituting tip-pooling arrangements that include both front-of-house staff that are customarily and regularly tipped (such as waiters, waitresses, bellhops, and service bartenders) and back-of-house staff...
Go

Supreme Court Removes Patent Litigation from the Heartland of Texas

For years, patent assertion entities have filed patent lawsuits against retailers in federal court in Texas.  The Supreme Court’s recent decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC may give retailers the ability to insist they defend such lawsuits on their home turf. Deep In the Heart...
Go

Cannes Brick and Mortar Retail in the United States Make a Comeback?

2017 MAPIC Conference in Cannes, France Last week, a contingent from Goulston & Storrs attended the annual MAPIC conference in Cannes (pronounced “Can”), France for the seventh consecutive year. We expected to field questions about the challenges facing brick and mortar retailers in the United States as well as...
Go

Looking Inside the Mind of a Gen Z Shopper

As the 2017 holiday season nears, consumers are getting ready to open their wallets and retailers are hoping their promotions will attract those consumers. Generation Z (“Gen Z”), which includes young people born in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s, is an important but often forgotten portion of the consumer population....
Go

New Experiences, New Retail Opportunities

Despite all of the noise about the rise of e-commerce and omnichannel distribution and the demise of brick-and-mortar, 85% of retail sales are still made in physical stores , and physical stores will continue to be at the core of retailers’ efforts to enhance their brands and drive sales....
Go

2017 ICSC US Shopping Center Law Conference

San Antonio was host to this year’s ICSC US Shopping Center Law Conference , which occurred from October 25 through October 28, 2017. In-house counsel, counsel from outside law firms, tenant’s lawyers, landlord’s counsel, paralegals, lease administrators and others involved in the retail business came together to discuss the...
Go

Surprises For International Retailers Coming to the USA

We are all aware that stateside landlords long for that new, fresh idea—something they can show off at their mall or street location and that can’t be found in every mall in every city in the country. Successful international retailers are aware of this potentially lucrative avenue to increase...
Go

Medtail: Why Your Doctor Is Treating You in a Strip Mall

The retail universe is well aware of the hype that it is only a matter of time until brick and mortal retail succumbs to its online competitors .  However, despite the “doom and gloom” we generally see in headlines, retail has actually remained stable and, in fact, is thriving...
Go

Robots Will Reshape – Not Replace – Retail Work

As we have discussed in earlier blog posts , rapid changes in the retail landscape due to the rise of e-commerce and a shift in customer’s interests from old-school, one-stop department store shopping to experiential retail, has led to a recent wave of retail bankruptcies and store closings.  The...
Go

The Cure For The Last Mile? Retooling Shopping Malls as E-commerce Distribution Centers

In addition to gigantic warehouses that e-commerce companies are constructing away from population centers where real estate is limited or too pricey, shopping malls and former shopping mall sites are well poised to be the newest e-commerce logistics and distribution hubs. With the deluge of vacant malls and vacant...
Go

A Changing Retail Streetscape: Rethinking Shopping Center Parking Lots

A recurring theme of this blog is that e-commerce , mobile devices , and evolving technology are changing the retail landscape. It seems that technology shifts are also poised to change the retail streetscape. More particularly, changes to the design and use of retail parking lots seems inevitable, and...
Go

Gearing Up for MAPIC 2017

Our Retail Group is once again getting ready for the annual MAPIC Conference (le marché international professionnel de l’implantation commerciale et de la distribution)! For the 7th year in a row, our team is traveling to Cannes, France for the largest annual gathering of European retailers, brokers and developers....
Go

Retailers to the Rescue

Hurricane Harvey has traumatized southeastern Texas. With unprecedented rainfall, there are many people who need urgent help. The competitive retail market can be difficult and wonderful all at the same time. We see (time and time again) that when human needs emerge, retailers are often among the first to...
Go

America’s Next Top (Business) Model? Evaluating Fashion’s Big Experiment

Last year, scores of top fashion designers defied convention by abandoning traditional shipping schedules, which favored delivering collections four to six months after they appeared on Fashion Week runways, and moved instead to a system allowing designers the ability to give the “insta-generation” instant retail gratification. Faced with the...
Go

Retail Hybrids: Following Trends in Cars, Sports and Food

Hybrids of many sorts have been trending in countless industries throughout the years and show no sign of fading away anytime soon.  Toyota announced that it sold its 10 millionth hybrid car this year, twenty years after launching its first Prius. Prior to this year’s NBA Final, the New...
Go