As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll on retail businesses throughout the country, the phenomenon of curbside pickup has spread from coast to coast.  With some evidence suggesting that retail customers may continue to prefer curbside pickup over traditional in-store pickup for the foreseeable future, retail businesses and their landlords should consider the potential lease implications of initiating or expanding curbside pickup programs. 
Continue Reading Lease Implications of Curbside Pickup

Many retailers are preparing for an increase in shareholder activism in late 2020 and early 2021.  The COVID-19 pandemic largely sidelined activist hedge funds in the spring, but as investors and companies have evolved to the “new normal,” activist hedge funds will start engaging with new targets.  The retail industry has been severely affected by the pandemic and is particularly vulnerable to activists who accumulate shares at historically low prices and then pressure companies to shift strategy.
Continue Reading Bracing for Activist Investors in the Retail Industry

While there were already a number of high profile retail bankruptcies in 2019, current economic conditions and pandemic-related market challenges have exacerbated an already difficult retail environment, which has led to a significant increase in bankruptcies in 2020.
Continue Reading With Retail Bankruptcies on the Rise, Opportunities for Distressed M&A Increase

On August 3, 2020, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York struck down portions of the DOL’s Final Rule regarding who qualifies for COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, collectively referred to as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Continue Reading Federal Court Strikes Down Portions of Department of Labor’s Final Rule on COVID-19 Leave, Expands Coverage

With the prevalent spread of COVID-19, hand sanitizers have become this spring and summer’s “fidget spinners,” cycling through the process from market shortage to glut in short order.  With such a rush to meet the drastic spike in demand, product missteps seem inevitable.  Although the Recall Roundup generally focuses on recalls under CPSC jurisdiction, the numerous FDA recalls involving hand sanitizers merits mention here. 
Continue Reading Recall Roundup: July

Few other retail sectors have seen the expansion that dollar stores have in the past decade, not to mention in the chaotic first half of 2020. During a time when other retailers are struggling to stay afloat due to social distancing requirements and widespread economic uncertainty, dollar stores are continuing to increase their physical presence as well as their profits.
Continue Reading The Rise of the Dollar Store

3M Company is a leading manufacturer of N95 respirators. According to 3M, medical workers and public-health professionals consider 3M-branded N95 respirators to be “the gold standard.” Not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic spiked the demand for N95 respirators. 3M ramped up production of its N95 masks as a result, but did not increase the price. Other entities, however, have purportedly offered 3M N95 respirators at prices much higher than 3M’s list prices.
Continue Reading Can Trademark Law Combat Price Gouging? 3M is Testing Theories to Protect its Brand