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Retail Law Advisor

Category Archives: Retail

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Credit Card Evolution: Goodbye John Hancock

Posted in Banking, Restaurants, Retail, Retail Sales, Technology

For years, the signature requirement for completing a credit card transaction has felt something like an obsolete means of confirming a user’s identity. Effective this month, however, four of the country’s largest credit card providers: American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa, will no longer require a signature to complete a purchase via credit card. The… Continue Reading

Pop-Up Stores- From Mall Kiosks to Dedicated Mall Spaces

Posted in Pop-up Retail, Retail

It seems that everywhere we turn, there is another story about how the traditional, enclosed shopping mall is facing a slow and painful death. Big box and other brick and mortar stores are closing, and mall landlords are desperate to fill increasingly empty space. To do so, landlords are continuously attempting to cater and adapt… Continue Reading

Bankruptcy Lease Auctions – Landlords Can Play Too

Posted in Bankruptcy, Leasing, Real Estate, Retail

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 closing sales at all 735 of its… Continue Reading

No Relief in Sight from Website Accessibility Lawsuits

Posted in Retail, Technology

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 of “public accommodation.” Generally, businesses that provide… Continue Reading

#Trending: Omnichannel Loyalty and Leveraging Social Media Channels

Posted in Retail

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. Omnichannel loyalty is the practice of… Continue Reading

Bringing Residential Uses to Existing Shopping Centers- A Win Win

Posted in Multifamily, Real Estate, Retail

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 those in the multifamily residential real estate… Continue Reading

Sustainability in the Fashion Industry: Kering Group’s Innovative Approach in the Luxury Sphere

Posted in Retail, Retail Sales

Retailers are facing an increasing population of ethically minded consumers. A Nielsen 2015 global survey found that 66% of respondents were “willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact,” up from 55% in 2014. The report also found that 73% of global… Continue Reading

Settlement Opens Door For Outer Borough Outlet Centers

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

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”) and The Mills at Jersey Gardens… Continue Reading

A Grocery Attack on Multiple Fronts

Posted in Retail, Retail Sales, Technology

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 these new developments have a material impact… Continue Reading

Facial Recognition in Retail: “Attention all Shoppers: We Already Know Everything about You”

Posted in Privacy, Retail, Security, Technology

Are you worried that “Alexa” is listening to your conversations? Do you cover your laptop camera with tape and refuse to store your passwords on your devices? Well, it looks like even stepping into the mall may require full-body armor if you wish to keep your basic data truly private. Retailers are increasingly utilizing advanced… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Real Estate, Retail, Retail Sales

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 end of the rainbow could be filled… Continue Reading

What Does Tax Reform Mean for Retail?

Posted in Retail, Tax

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, 2017. Retailers with cash overseas will… Continue Reading

Five Important Employment Trends for Massachusetts Retailers in 2018

Posted in Employment, Retail

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 multiple locations, particularly if those stores… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Retail, Technology

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 filling the skies, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)… Continue Reading

Vitamin D and Retail: But Not Without Due Diligence First

Posted in Development, Landlords, Leasing, Retail, Tenant

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 around the country to change the… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Litigation, Retail

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 Square, LLC v. Whole Foods Market… Continue Reading

ICSC New York Deal Making (2017)

Posted in Retail

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 hour long educational sessions, starting the day… Continue Reading

Update: Tip Pooling by Restaurant Owners Remains in Flux

Posted in Employment, Restaurants, Retail

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 that are not customarily and regularly… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Removes Patent Litigation from the Heartland of Texas

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patent Litigation, Retail

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 of Texas For years, patent assertion… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Restaurants, Retail

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 inquiries regarding how domestic political events… Continue Reading

Looking Inside the Mind of a Gen Z Shopper

Posted in Retail, Retail Sales

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. There are about 2.5 billion Gen… Continue Reading

New Experiences, New Retail Opportunities

Posted in Retail, Retail Sales

Despite all of the noise about the rise of e-commerce and omni-channel 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. That said, in light of the increased… Continue Reading