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Retail, Restaurant, & Consumer

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.

ICSC RECON 2019: In Pursuit of Innovation

The Las Vegas Convention Center hosted ICSC RECon 2019 this week from May 19-22. This year’s conference was held under the motto “Less traditional. More Innovative”, reflective of the dynamic changes taking place in the retail real estate industry. True to this motto, the future of retail was on...
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When the Retail Anchor Becomes the Risk… or Opportunity?

Big box stores have recently been large contributors to the “retail apocalypse” facing owners of shopping centers with broad swaths of empty space. Some landlords are discovering that they need to take a more active role at the helm of their centers and find new ways to attract customers....
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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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‘Tis Always the Season for a Pop-up

With Tax Day just around the corner, there is a good chance that you find yourself (along with millions  of other Americans) scrambling to get your taxes filed at the last minute. You also might notice the temporary tax service shops that seem to pop up at the local...
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Intrusion or Tool: Consumer Data’s Increasing Role in Retail

It’s no secret that retailers have access to more information about their target consumers than ever before. This information can help retailers not only to target their broad market but also to tailor the communications they deliver to each segment of that market.  Customers, on the other hand, are...
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Opportunity Zones Steal the Show

ICSC's 2019 Mid-Atlantic Conference and Deal Making
The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center played host to the  ICSC's 2019 Mid-Atlantic Conference and Deal Making event last week. After being snowed out last year, the conference rebounded with high attendance and spectacular views of the Potomac River. The overall mood of attendees was surprisingly upbeat given...
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Technology Shifts the Retail Landscape for Open Air Centers

ICSC's OAC Summit 2019
I just returned from ICSC's OAC Summit , which was held in Austin last week.  For those how have not yet attended this conference, the OAC is not a deal making conference like many other ICSC conferences.  Rather, the OAC is a relationship building and information sharing event, attended largely...
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New Payment Structures for a New Age

We’ve written about changes in the way goods are bought and sold, from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce. But what about how goods are being paid for? As the retail landscape shifts to digital terrain, retailers would be wise to think about how they accept payments to suit new ways of...
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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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Second Chances – Embattled Retailers Look to the Next Chapter for Their Brands

What’s old is new again. The intellectual property of legacy brick-and-mortar retailers is increasingly being repurposed for decidedly modern ventures. Although the fate of Toys "R" Us, Inc. has captured the most media attention, a number of prominent retailers have begun to repurpose and revitalize their brands in a...
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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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Three Trends Driving Consumer Behavior in the Retail Real Estate Business

Goulston & Storrs partners Nancy Davids, Matt Epstein, Karen O’Malley and David Rabinowitz  recently sat down with  Forbes  to discuss how changes in consumer behavior continue to drive evolution in the retail real estate business. The group identified three key trends through a collaborative discussion with  Forbes  contributor Richard Kestenbaum:...
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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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A Look Inside the ICSC 48th Annual US Shopping Center Law Conference

The 48th annual US Shopping Center Law Conference was held last week from October 24-27 at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes in Orlando Florida. The conference saw a near-record number of attendees, where almost 1500 people gathered to learn, network and collaborate. This year’s program included several new sessions...
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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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Banner Year Expected For Holiday Retail Sales

This week’s news of former retail giants Sears and Kmart filing for bankruptcy is bound to spur headlines about the death of retail in the U.S.  However, multiple forecasts predict that robust 2018 holiday shopping will result in an increase in both in-store and online holiday sales as compared...
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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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One Wild Ride: The Rise of Dockless Bike Share Programs

Bike shares have been around for several years, but the newest iteration of the two-wheeled trend is causing concern among local government officials and citizens alike. Beyond questions of profitability and durability, dockless transit share models raise questions about what the future of commerce looks like.   Dockless bikes and...
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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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