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Category: Retail

Unconscious Bias in the Retail World

Last week, in our highlights of the 49 th ICSC U.S. Law Conference , we touched on Dr. Mahzarin R. Banaji ’s keynote presentation, where she discussed unconscious bias and how it affects everyone. She has also co-authored a book entitled Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People discussing these...
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Go Mega-Mall or Go Home?

New Jersey’s American Dream “Immersive Consumption” Mall Opening after 23 Years
While increased occurrences of retail store closures and predictions about the death of the shopping mall are causing mall owners to consider downsizing or repurposing their space away from consumer-facing retail and toward e-commerce fulfillment centers or industrial uses, the developers behind New Jersey’s American Dream Mall, a three...
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Retail-to-Industrial Conversions: Revolution or Niche Trend?

It may have been unthinkable ten to fifteen years ago, but the shift in consumer shopping patterns from brick-and-mortar stores to online platforms has resulted in the emergence of retail-to-industrial conversions over the past few years.  With lower demand for retail space in many markets, several developers and major...
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“Retail Apocalypse: The End – Or A New Beginning?”

The last several years have been treacherous for the retail sector.  Changing shopping patterns and shifting demographics have led some commentators to declare that the (retail) apocalypse is upon us .  And while we have seen numerous mega-bankruptcies, including Sears, Toys ‘R Us, Borders, Payless Shoes and Radio Shack...
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REIT Issues for Retail Leasing Professionals

As retail leasing continues to evolve, real estate investment trust (REIT) landlords, retail tenants and the business / advisory teams on both sides will want to ensure that REIT issues are surfaced and negotiated before the lease is signed, averting unpleasant surprises and renegotiations down the road. With proper...
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Are U.S. retailers keeping your data safe?

Sharing limited personal information with retailers has its benefits, including targeted ads, discounts, incentives, and coupons.  But at what cost?  Do the risks of disclosing your personal information to retailers outweigh the benefits to which time-sensitive consumers have grown accustomed?  Many retail consumers no longer have personal connections to...
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Black Friday in July: A Retail Boost in Competition with Amazon

Is “Christmas in July” a bonus for consumers or retailers? Which retailers are coming to the front of the price slashing competition and what products are hot off the shelves? According to retail experts, Amazon raked in an estimated $6 billion in sales during this year’s Amazon Prime Day...
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We’re Here for the Food Hall Party

Time to Eat, Drink and Socialize!
If you haven’t eaten at a food hall yet… it is likely only a matter of time before you do. They are popping up all over the country and are gaining popularity. Unlike traditional mall food courts, food halls typically include higher end and trendy concepts all within one...
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Four Ways for Leases to Keep Up with Innovative Retail

Industry experts seem to agree that while traditional retailers may be on the decline, innovative stores that focus on “experiential retail” -- interesting, memorable, interactive, multi-sensory shopping experiences -- will continue to thrive.  To keep up with developments in the retail sector, landlords and tenants should consider modifying their...
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Bag Bans: The War on Plastic Bags

Grocery shoppers used to make the final decision of their supermarket trip in the checkout line. Reaching for boxes of cereal, cartons of eggs, and jars of jam in their rolling metal carts, placing those items onto slow-moving counter conveyor belts, they weighed two options. Paper or plastic? Which...
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Recycling the Big Box

Retailers shuttered a record amount of brick-and-mortar store space in 2018, shattering the previous record set in 2017, and big box stores were the largest contributors to the empty space. Iconic brands, such as Sears, Macy’s, J.C. Penney, Toys "R" Us, Inc., Bon Ton and Lord & Taylor all...
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2018 Holiday Sales

We hope everyone had a terrific holiday season and the new year is off to a great start! In our first post for the year, we wanted to share some terrific insights on 2018 holiday sales analytics from Retail Dive’s Kaarin Vembar . U.S. holiday sales grew 5.1% this...
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The 2018 ICSC New York Deal Making Conference and The Emergence of Digital

The ICSC New York Deal Making Conference (“NYDMC”) was held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center from December 4 – 6.  NYDMC is ICSC’s second largest conference, with about 10,000 in attendance this year. The conference kicked off with Professional Development Day. One highlight was the Hidden Biases of...
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Year-End Trademark Audits Ensure Complete Brand Protection

With the end of the year approaching and the holiday shopping season in full swing, now is an ideal time for brand owners to audit their trademark portfolios.  A trademark audit is an excellent tool for ensuring brands are adequately protected for the full scope of goods and services...
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Counterfeits in the Digital Marketplace

Counterfeiting has moved beyond high-priced luxury goods to low-cost everyday items. Many of these fake products pose real dangers:  face masks with arsenic ;  phone adapters that can electrocute you ;  computer chargers that fry your hardware ;  batteries that blow up . These counterfeits infiltrate online marketplaces, where...
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Protecting the Popular Brand: Considerations to Avoid Genericide

When it comes to trademark registration, there is such a thing as being too popular. Marks such as Aspirin, Fiberglass, Zipper and Flip Phone became so ubiquitous that they were found to be generic—a commonly used name or description of a kind of product. When a trademark becomes so...
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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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Augmented Retail – The Use of Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality to Enhance the Customer Shopping Experience

As competition between brick-and-mortar stores and online shopping continues, retailers with physical stores are using cutting edge technologies to offer unique shopping experiences and added service to consumers.  One type of technology that is being used in brick-and-mortar stores is artificial intelligence. Amazon, arguably one of the most disruptive...
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Co-working and the Rapidly Changing Office Landscape

The anxiety of the death of retail has given way to the retail renaissance. Experiential retail draws the shopper in for entertainment, pop-up stores capture the shoppers’ curiosity as they stroll past a storefront or see their friends’ posts on Instagram, and showroom retail gives the hesitant online shopper...
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New Massachusetts Trade Secret Laws Effective October 1, 2018

The retail industry closely guards customer and distribution lists, the software and code for the operation of its websites and downloadable mobile apps, and, in many cases, algorithms used to evaluate and monitor sales trends. In many cases, these valuable assets are not protected by patent, trademark or copyright law. As...
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Down But Not Out: Using Showrooms to Revamp Brick and Mortar Retail

Recent trends such as pop-ups  suggest that consumers and retailers alike are not prepared to give up on brick and mortar stores, but that they are looking for more creative alternatives to the traditional arrangement. Clothing retailers have begun exploring use of showroom-style spaces to revitalize and reframe the shopping...
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Updates to California Proposition 65 Affect Retailers and their Suppliers

On August 30, 2018, significant changes to California’s Proposition 65 (“Prop 65”) warning regulations take effect. In the retail context, Prop 65 requires businesses with 10 or more employees to warn individuals in California about products containing certain listed chemicals “known to the State of California to cause cancer...
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On Retaildential Densification: Unpacking the Jargon and Trends of Adding Residential Uses to Shopping Centers

Retail follows rooftops. Few real estate adages are more axiomatic. Increasingly, however, the reverse is becoming true, and rooftops, or residential uses, are cozying up to retail . We’ve written previously that residential developers are increasingly finding shopping centers to be an irresistible tenant amenity . Whether residential uses...
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The Times They Are A-Changin’: Movement in the Retail Brokerage Industry

When selecting a broker, clients consider a host of factors, including both the firm’s and individual broker’s experience, building and client portfolio, and industry contacts. While some may feel better served by a small, dedicated team that can arguably offer more personalized service, many elect to engage larger industry players. Larger...
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International Council of Shopping Centers New England Conference and Deal Making

ICSC hosted the New England Conference and Deal Making  event at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center last week, from July 16-18. Given the summer timing of the conference, attendance appeared light at times, but conference attendees reported busy schedules and productive meetings. A number of attendees...
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A Trademark Licensee’s Rights after its Licensor’s Bankruptcy May Vary Depending on the Venue of the Bankruptcy Case

In this tumultuous retail climate , a string of recent conflicting court decisions remind retailers that the potential impact of a licensor bankruptcy on a trademark licensee’s rights may vary dramatically depending on the location of the licensor’s bankruptcy proceedings.  In some jurisdictions a licensee may be entitled to...
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Leveraged Returns: How Big Box Retailers are Using In-Store Fulfilment Centers to Bring Consumers Back to Brick-and-Mortar

The growth of e-commerce over the last two decades has forced traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to rethink their operations in order to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving market. For some, this means developing websites and mobile apps to entice consumers with an omnichannel shopping experience. However, a few large retailers...
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A Changed World: The Supreme Court Permits State and Local Taxation of Online Sales by Retailers with No State Presence

A Changed View of Online Sales Tax for Out-of-State Retailers
With the growing and evolving retail world, which we have  discussed   before , one thing had remained constant: retailers did not have to collect sales tax for online sales to states in which they had no physical presence. Thanks to the Supreme Court, that principle  had  remained a...
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A World of Trademarks at INTA 2018 Annual Meeting in Seattle

During the week of May 20, 2018, members of the Goulston & Storrs  Intellectual Property Group  joined over 10,500 attendees from around the world for the 140th Annual Meeting of the  International Trademark Association (INTA) . Held in Seattle, Washington, the INTA 2018 Annual Meeting attracted an incredibly diverse...
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