Matthew E. Epstein

Matthew E. Epstein

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Matthew E. Epstein

Blog Posts: Retail Law Advisor

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This blog keeps you connected to timely developments and emerging issues in retail law and covers a wide range of topics related to the retail, restaurant and consumer industry. We invite you to learn more about Goulston & Storrs and our Retail, Restaurant & Consumer Group.

On the Origin of Retail: An Evolutionary Analysis

“Retail Apocalypse!”  “Amazon Takeover!”  “Goodbye, Brick-and-Mortar!”  These reflect the flavor of headlines these past few years: one of a retail Armageddon, or the end as we know it of brick-and-mortar. While several prominent retailers have turned to bankruptcy and store closures, research demonstrates that this doomsday hype is somewhat overblown. Statistics indicate...
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Sales Tax Holidays: Serious Savings or Serious Stunt?

This past Friday, consumers across Massachusetts were pleasantly surprised with news of the last-minute approval by the Baker administration of a weekend sales tax holiday. Despite local retailers griping about the eleventh hour prep involved with planning, stocking, staffing and marketing such an event, consumers were rewarded with savings...
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The New Dawn of Retail: Apocalypse or Evolution?

Major retailers that once reigned supreme with brick and mortar stores now face unparalleled challenges. Historically, major retailers dominated the retail industry by opening stores in the most desirable locations and offering fetching merchandise at a great value. But, numerous trends – including a dramatic shift in shopping habits,...
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#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....
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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....
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A Nation of Shopkeepers

David Rabinowitz and Matt Epstein who, with Nancy Davids , co-chair Goulston’s Retail, Restaurant and Consumer Group , spent some time in London last month surveying the retail landscape. There are both similarities and differences between the US and UK markets. Of course, the impact of ecommerce on bricks and...
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Amazon & Wal-Mart: Pinky and The Brain of Retail

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

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...
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End Of An Era Or Simply a Moment In Time?

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...
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The Power of the Melody Pushes Fashion Forward

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...
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A Tale of Two Conventions: MAPIC and ICSC New York

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...
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Black Friday: May You Finally Shop in Peace

Black Friday has traditionally been the day that retailers and consumers gleefully mark on their calendars. Since its inception in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Black Friday has been considered the blast-off point for the holiday season, ushering in bountiful sales as consumers fall for the frenzy of...
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Digitizing Brick and Mortar: Geofencing and Geolocation Can Help Retailers Win at Omnichannel

We have blogged previously about the steady rise of e-commerce , the benefits  and challenges  of creating a cohesive omnichannel experience, and some of the special issues omnichannel creates for the landlord-tenant relationship. Customers may appreciate the convenience of omnichannel, but they do not spend much time thinking about...
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The Implications of Trademark Infringement Decisions: Aw “Chucks”

There is a growing population of fashionistas and #sneakerheads skyrocketing the sales of fashion retailers and traditional sneaker companies, such as @Nike and @Converse. Forbes contends that sneakerheads represent approximately 5% of the $22 billion dollar sneaker market in the U.S., which works out to roughly $1.1 billion dollars....
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RETAIL 2020: Future Ready – Innovate to Succeed

In late June, members of the local and national retail community convened at Goulston & Storrs’ Boston office to participate in an interactive panel discussion billed as RETAIL 2020: Future Ready. Panelists included Ben Fischman, the Executive Director of M. Gemi,  a designer and retailer of Italian hand-made footwear; Nicki...
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To Brexit or Not to Brexit? Our Observations on UK Retail

Our Retail team just returned from a week in London where we met with the firm’s UK-based retail clients and other retail industry professionals. The biggest topic of conversation centered around Brexit . On June 23rd, Britain will hold an historic referendum on whether the country will leave the...
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Meet The Jetsons: Fashionable Technology

In the opening montage of the famous American 1980's sitcom, The Jetsons, we see the family zipping through their futuristic utopia donning clothing and accessories that we could only dream of, until today. Coco Chanel once aptly noted that, “Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has...
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Retail Shopping Outlets in Emerging Markets: A Shopaholic Box of Chocolate

Despite its universality, the shopping mall, as we know it, is at a pivotal juncture in its existence. A tsunami of torrential trends – in particular, the rise of floundering malls and underwhelming sales for luxury anchor tenants – has spurred mall owners to abandon the notion of commoditized...
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The Burgeoning Winds of Retail in Emerging Markets

For those that follow the mantra - “fortune favors the bold” - breaking ground in lesser known international retail frontiers may have significant pay-offs, as evidenced by the first-wave of retailers who made retail investments in BRIC cities . Driven by massive urbanization and an increasing number of middle-class...
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Report from MAPIC 2015: US Expansion Still Hot Topic

The Goulston & Storrs’ MAPIC team has returned from the 21st annual MAPIC (le marché international professionnel de l’implantation commerciale et de la distribution) conference in Cannes, France.  From November 16-18, MAPIC hosted its international retail conference at the Palais de Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes. Approximately 8,000...
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#Instagram, #Instafashion, #Instagood: A Fashion Foray into Instagram

Despite its reputation for over-filtered pictures, fashion blogging on #Instagram has moved the needle and compelled the fashion industry to welcome a group of #fashionistas that traditionally have been considered the plebeians of the fashion world. The rise of the fashion blogger phenomenon, coupled with consumers’ insatiable desire for...
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Fashion Week Beyond the Photo Shoots

What would the retail industry be without Fashion Week, the twice-a-year event series during which major designers launch their women’s ready-to-wear lines? What we see on the catwalk during this week highly influences consumer tastes – and sometimes behavior – in the coming season. Fashion Week began in 1943...
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An A+ in Back-to-School

It may only be the first week of August, but the retail world is already in full swing with one of its most important times of the year: back-to-school. Back-to-school is the second-biggest shopping season of the year, trailing only the holiday season. And the shopping trends, patterns and...
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Let Freedom Ring!

Goulston & Storrs has a long and proud tradition of supporting diversity . It’s not just a theoretical goal; we believe diversity helps us recognize and appreciate alternate viewpoints which ultimately improves our firm and our ability to serve our clients. Two years ago we spoke in support of...
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Summer Retail: Sales Tax Holidays, Pit Stops, and Where the Deals Are

Memorial Day has passed and while offices still hum with productivity, we can feel summer around the corner. With that in mind, we’ve explored what might be in store for the retail industry this summer. Although the usual break of seasons has extended somewhat -- we see back-to-school shopping...
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Claims about Biodegradable Plastics Breakdown Under FTC Scrutiny: Marketers Beware!

In the recent administrative proceeding before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against ECM Biofilms, Inc. (ECM), the FTC’s presiding chief administrative law judge (ALJ) ruled that the plastics additive manufacturer ECM violated the FTC Act by deceptively claiming, and providing others with the means to claim, that plastics treated...
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