Macy’s claims Amazon has concocted a cheeky plan to advertise in entrance of the division store’s legendary flagship in Herald Square — and it’s pleading with the courts to step in.
The huge, red-and-white star billboard atop Macy’s 120-year-old store at 1313 Broadway might quickly flip into an advert for the Seattle-based e-tailing large, in accordance to a grievance Macy’s filed towards billboard proprietor Kaufman Realty.
Macy’s administration mentioned it realized throughout lease-renewal discussions in May that Kaufman was in talks with a “prominent online retailer” about probably renting the signal — and that there was “little doubt” at the moment that the retailer was Amazon, in accordance to the grievance filed in in State Supreme court docket in Manhattan final week.
Macy’s owns its flagship constructing on thirty fourth Street, however Kaufman owns the small carved-out piece of actual property within the southeast nook on which the billboard is located. A small Sunglass Hut store presently occupies the constructing’s storefront.
The Macy’s billboard lease with Kaufman expired on Aug. 31. Macy’s claims that its unique lease from 1963 prevents a competitor from ever promoting on that house, however Kaufman disagrees, in accordance to the grievance.
On Thursday, a spokesman for Kaufman denied that the company was in talks with Amazon.
“While the restrictive covenant will be up to a judge to make a decision, we want to make it clear that we’ve had no communication or negotiations with Amazon relating to the 1313 Broadway space,” the Kaufman spokesman informed The Post in a press release.
Nevertheless, Macy’s is apoplectic, noting that the two,200 square-foot billboard is “prominently seen and displayed, especially during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” and that any commercial on the billboard by a competitor would trigger “immeasurable” hurt to Macy’s.
“The damages to Macy’s customer goodwill, image, reputation and brand should a prominent online retailer (especially Amazon) advertise on the billboard are impossible to calculate,” the company mentioned in court docket papers.
The nook of the Macy’s constructing is indented, permitting house for the small constructing on which the billboard is located. While admitting that the billboard is merely “adjacent” to Macy’s “world famous department store,” the grievance contends that to the “naked eye the billboard is on Macy’s department store.” Kaufman owns each the small constructing and the billboard, in accordance to the grievance.
“For Amazon this is less about advertising and more about sticking it in Macy’s eye and depriving Macy’s of its marquee signage,” mentioned an actual property supply who didn’t need to converse on the report about both company.
Macy’s is asking the court docket for injunctive reduction to stop Kaufman from leasing the house to Amazon or any competitor, in accordance to the submitting.
“Macy’s continues to have rights relating to advertisements at that location,” company spokesman Orlando Veras informed Crain’s. “We expect to realize the benefits of these rights and have asked the court to protect them.”
Known as “The World’s Largest Store” the Herald Square location is getting ready to build an enormous office tower on high of the constructing. Macy’s mentioned in May that it’s going to spend $235 million to improve the transit infrastructure within the space and to create different public facilities in Herald Square.
Macy’s and Amazon didn’t instantly reply for remark.