The Macy’s department store chain is embroiled in a fierce legal battle with its online competitor Amazon over prime New York real estate.
In a lawsuit filed last week in the Manhattan State Supreme Court, Macy’s claims the e-commerce conglomerate concocted a plan to advertise in front of the department store’s iconic flagship in Herald Square.
Macy’s has filed a lawsuit to prevent the online giant from encroaching on what they say is their territory.
The lawsuit names the Kaufman Organization, the commercial real estate company that owns the sought after space that currently owns an advertisement for Macy’s, which has become a de facto Manhattan landmark.
The old-fashioned department store has displayed its name on this impressive three-story billboard for nearly six decades, above its iconic Manhattan location at 1313 Broadway
The billboard has been adjacent to the 120-year-old Macy’s storefront – dubbed “The World’s Biggest Store” – for decades, but could soon turn into an advertisement for the US-based online retail empire. Seattle, indicates the costume
For decades, the old-fashioned department store has displayed its name on the impressive three-story billboard, prominently placed above its iconic Manhattan location at 1313 Broadway.
The billboard has been adjacent to the 120-year-old Macy’s storefront – dubbed “The World’s Biggest Store” – for 60 years, but could soon become an advertisement for the Seattle-based e-commerce empire, according to the suit.
The record further indicates that an announcement by a competitor such as Amazon in such an iconic location would cause the department store retailer “immeasurable” harm.
Macy’s management said they learned of Amazon’s intention to supplant the store’s historic facade during lease renewal talks with Kaufman in May.
During those talks, the retailer – which has become a fixture in New York for more than a century, sponsoring iconic events like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – learned that Kaufman was involved in talks with an “online retailer. foreground “on the possibility of renting the sign.
Ecommerce conglomerate Amazon seeks to supplant iconic department store advertising space, May lawsuit says
There was “little doubt” at the time that the retailer was Amazon, the complaint says.
Macy’s of course has its flagship building on 34th Street, but Kaufman owns the sought-after real estate at the southeast corner of the street on Broadway – the city’s most famous thoroughfare – where the billboard is located.
A small Sunglass Hut store currently occupies the front of the building.
Macy’s billboard lease with Kaufman expired on August 31.
Macy’s says in its lawsuit that its original 1963 lease prohibits any competitor from advertising in that space, but Kaufman disagrees, the complaint says.
On Thursday, a representative for Kaufman denied that the company was in talks with Amazon.
âAlthough the restrictive covenant is up to a judge to make a decision, we want to make it clear that we have not had any communication or negotiations with Amazon regarding the 1313 Broadway space,â the Kaufman spokesperson said. The New York Post.
But Macy’s is still angry with the potential talks, noting that the eye-catching ad holds some prestige and is “well seen and displayed, especially during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.”
The lawsuit specifically states that another advertisement from a rival company supplanting space would cause “immeasurable” and irrevocable harm to the legendary channel.
“The damage to Macy’s customer base, image, reputation and brand if a leading online retailer (especially Amazon) advertises on the billboard is impossible to calculate.” , attested to the company in the suit.
âImagine Pepsi on a Coca-Cola or Mercedes building advertising on the building of a BMW dealership,â Benjamin Brotzman, a member of the Macy’s retail group, wrote in the file.
“Like a conquering enemy, it would be like a competitor hanging his ‘flag’ on top of Macy’s flagship department store and announcing victory.”
Macy’s spokesperson Orlando Veras added that he was adamant that his company “continues to have rights to the advertisements in this location.”
That said, the Macy’s building is technically not physically connected to the billboard, which sits on a separate small storefront next to it.
Countless Midtown Manhattan shoppers and pedestrians encounter the giant billboard every day – and it has become a de facto staple of the city that never sleeps.
The building that houses the retail chain’s flagship store is actually set back at the corner of 34th and Broadway, leaving space for the small building – on which the billboard sits.
While conceding that the billboard is “adjacent” to the “world famous department store”, the complaint argues that “to the naked eye, the billboard is in the Macy’s department store”.
Thus, the lawsuit alleges that Kaufman, who owns both the small building and the billboard, should be held responsible.
“For Amazon, it’s less about advertising than sticking it in Macy’s eye and depriving Macy’s of its branded signage,” a real estate expert told The Post.
Macy’s is now asking the courts to step in to prevent Kaufman from renting the space to Amazon or any competitor, according to the filing.
âSince the early 1960s, Macy’s has placed a billboard on the building adjacent to our flagship store on the corner of Broadway and 34th Street,â the company said in a statement.
‘Macy’s continues to have rights to the advertisements there. We hope to realize the benefits of these rights and have asked the court to protect them.
Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.
Macy’s says in its lawsuit that its original 1963 lease prohibits any of its competitors from advertising the space, in a lawsuit against the Kaufman organization – the real estate company that leases the billboard from the chain of department stores
The lawsuit specifically states that another advertisement from a rival company supplanting space would cause “immeasurable” and irrevocable damage to the legendary channel, and that “damage to goodwill, image, reputation and Macy’s brand should a leading online retailer (especially Amazon) advertise on the billboard are impossible to calculate ‘