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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.

Stay in the Know: Recent Developments in Trademark Law

Retailers generally appreciate that their brands are among their most valuable assets. But it can be challenging for them to know how current trademark law will affect their selection, registration, and enforcement of those brands. The following are some recent developments in U.S. trademark law that brand owners should...
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All Eyes on G-20 as Additional Tariffs Loom

Last week, Bloomberg reported that Toys “R” Us is in the early stages of a comeback, led by former executive and Tru Kids Inc. CEO Richard Barry, with designs on opening about a half-dozen stores in time for the 2019 holiday season. You can bet they’ll be keeping a...
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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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E-Commerce and Industrial Real Estate: “Last Mile” Delivery and What Else You Should Know

In recent years, the extensive disruption to the retail real estate landscape caused by the expansive growth of e-commerce (such as altered consumer shopping habits, increased brick-and-mortar vacancies, and big box retailer bankruptcies) has been well-cataloged and analyzed both within the commercial real estate industry and, more broadly, by...
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A Hometown Affair: Boston Hosts INTA 2019 Annual Meeting

Last week, members of the Goulston & Storrs intellectual property practice group joined over 11,000 attendees from around the world for the 141 st Annual Meeting of the International Trademark Association (INTA).  For us it was a hometown affair, with Boston hosting a diverse group of brand owners, legal...
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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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