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Retail Institute Content Archive

An open exchange of ideas, innovations and experiences.

Husch Blackwell’s Retail Institute was created with the belief that in-depth industry knowledge creates value, and knowledge is created through an open exchange of ideas, innovations and experiences. Since 2017, our Retail Institute has partnered with leaders in business, public policy, education and professional associations to create knowledge and deliver value by putting industry first. Here is an archived digest of our thought leadership. 

Basic Legal Framework for Franchising

This summary highlights basic legal aspects that business owners, officers, directors and other persons involved in franchising should consider when growing their business through franchising.

The Top 10 Most Contentious Assignment and Subletting Provisions

Assignment and subletting clauses in leases are often highly negotiated between landlords and tenants. In the simplest of terms, at the bottom of these negotiations is the tug of war between control and flexibility. Landlords desire to control the tenant mix in their shopping centers and to ensure that they will have tenants that will pay the rent. Tenants desire to have flexibility in their locations, operating models, and corporate structures.

Retailers: Thinking Outside the Box to Address Driver & Equipment Shortages

According to the American Trucking Association, there is a current shortage of about 51,000 drivers which is impacting U.S. retailers, and it is predicted to get worse in the coming years. The driver shortage is leading to delayed deliveries and higher prices.

Buying & Selling Triple Net Leases

Retail real estate assets include much more than shopping centers and outlet malls. Existing triple net ground leases are becoming attractive to landlords, investors, and developers. In particular, there has been an increase in the past few years in the sale and purchase of triple net ground leases of peripheral properties surrounding retail centers (i.e. outparcels). 

Commentary: Meeting the B2C Challenges of the Supply Chain

New business-to-consumer e-commerce practices are rapidly changing the way retailers and their supply chain providers operate, as well as how governments apply trade oversight. It’s no secret that changes in the business-to-consumer e-commerce space are now impacting the retailer and supply chains industries, as well as government oversight of those industries.

Rooftop Leasing

What used to be forgotten, unused space is now becoming one of the most innovative areas in real estate development. From cellular installations to bars, gardens, and even microfarm beekeeping, rooftops are being transformed to accommodate many uses; however, this newfound versatility brings unique obstacles and unexpected consequences for building owners.

The New World of Brick-and-Mortar Retail 

In addition to the decorated trees and looping tracks of “White Christmas,” last year’s holiday season featured one account after another of the retail industry’s impending doom. But, there are a few contrarian voices out there that see fresh green shoots sprouting from the imagined rubble.

The Top 10 Most Contentious Assignment and Subletting Provisions 

Walgreens’ Director & Managing Counsel of Real Estate Law joins the Institute in this co-authored paper on assignment and subletting clauses in leases, and the tug of war between control and flexibility in negotiations.

Missouri Business Today: Husch Blackwell’s Retail Institute (Audio Interview) 

Law firm Husch Blackwell has formed a retail institute, bringing together experts in the industry to help Missouri businesses deal with the challenges of today’s retail environment. Retail Institute leader Stacy Wipfler discusses issues impacting Missouri’s retail industry.

Creating Thought Leadership on Today's Retail Issues 

Ellen Pantaenius speaks to the Kansas City Business Journal about facilitating discussions among retail industry stakeholders to address challenges they all share.

Helping Retailers Compete, Succeed is Goal of Law Firm’s New Institute 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch interviews Stacy Wipfler on the Retail Institute’s efforts to help retailers remain competitive and the forces that are challenging today’s industry.

Meeting the E-Commerce Challenges on the Supply Chain 

The Department of Commerce has reported that Americans purchase goods at the pace of $1.2 billion a day online, an amount which doubled in the last five years, and which is projected to double again in the next five. Our Carlos Rodriguez joins Jeff Cascini of Cascini & Associates to explore the impact of e-commerce on retailers, supply chain industries and government oversight, from brick-and-mortar operations to NAFTA considerations.

Basic Legal Framework for Franchising

According to the International Franchise Association, there are over 733,000 franchises in the U.S. that contribute $404 billion to our GDP, with a healthy forecast of continued growth. Husch Blackwell Retail Institute’s John Moore highlights basic legal aspects that business owners, officers, directors and others should consider when growing their business through franchising.

Targeted Ads Using Consumer Data May Target Risky Sites 

With the April 3rd repeal of many online privacy protections, browsing histories may soon be up for sale, and the value of targeted ads will be on the rise. Read about how your organization can effectively utilize targeted ads while protecting its reputation. 

Going Forward with NAFTA 2.0 

With the fate of NAFTA unsure, find out what the future may hold for the agreement and what that could mean for you.

Treasury Department Issues New Sanctions Against Russia 

The December 20th, 2016 sanctions against Russia further complicate U.S. export regulations. The newest sanctions target eight entities and two vessels, as well as several individuals – many of whom provide support to major Russian banks. 

Trump on Trade: What the President-Elect’s Plan May Mean for Your Business 

Read about Trump’s seven-step trade plan “to bring back our jobs,” and how Husch Blackwell’s International Trade and Supply Chain team will be keeping tabs on Trump and Congress every step of the way.

New Rules Streamline Export Requirements 

New rules affecting export clearance requirements affecting both EAR and ITAR items took effect November 15th, 2016. Harmonized legal language aims to alleviate confusion and streamline processes. Find out more about the new requirements and how it may affect your business.  

FDA Amends Food Facility Registration Requirements 

The final rule amending the food facility registration requirement has been published, and it includes numerous changes. Among them – food facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food for consumption in the US are now required to register with the FDA.  Find additional requirements and information about those affected within.

The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Process is Alive! Cost Savings for US Manufacturers

The MTB duty savings are anticipated to eliminate import taxes in excess of $700 million annually! Read about the new procedure, requirements, and process timeline that were recently passed from the House to the Senate Finance Committee. 

FDA Finalizes Food Safety Transportation Rule 

The FDA released the final version of the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food rule under the FSMA which is aimed at preventing food contamination during transportation. Read about the new requirements and the deadlines for compliance.

New Rules Create New Business Opportunities in Cuba 

With the easing of travel and export financing restrictions on Cuba, as well the general approval of licenses for many exports and re-exports, there are new business opportunities abound. Additionally, case-by-case reviews will now be done of previously prohibited items to meet the needs of the Cuban people. Husch Blackwell is monitoring the unfolding changes to US-Cuba relations and how this can be beneficial for you. 

No GMO National Labeling Standard…Yet 

While a law mandating a GMO national labeling standard is still up in the air, we may gain some knowledge by looking at a new bill involving FDA approved GMO salmon. The legislation includes funding to finalize and implement guidelines for labeling the salmon (but is silent on broader GMO labeling requirements). Perhaps this can provide peace of mind for those hoping for a national law that would preempt state laws – which many believe could result in millions of dollars in compliance costs. 

FDA Issues 2015 Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards 

The recent publication of the latest Retail Program Standards for food regulatory programs aims to reduce risk factors contributing to foodborne illness and promote managerial control of said factors. Read more about the latest standards, as well as find a link to the complete list of jurisdictions enrolled in the Retail Program Standards. 

Congress Focuses on Building Trade Relationships

A bipartisan team recently introduced several pieces of legislation aimed at renewing several trade preferences and liberalization programs – including TPA-2015 and the AGOA Extension and Enhancement Act. This legislation hopes to aid in trade negotiations as well as extend and renew programs such as HOPE and HELP. 

Brand Owners Beware: Trademark Opposition Proceedings Take on New Significance Following the Supreme Court’s Ruling 

The Supreme Court’s ruling in B&B Hardware, Inc v. Hargis Industries, Inc. will have significant impact on how brand owners address opposition proceeding raised by competitors at the TTAB. Read more about the case, the decision, and why this ruling is important. 

Obama Administration Announces Historic Change in Cuba Trade and Travel Policy 

President Obama announced a number of measures to liberalize trade and travel to Cuba. While Congress must formally overturn the U.S. embargo, some of the executive actions include: re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba, expansion of travel, and expansion of authorized commercial sales and exports. Read more details about these actions, as well others, within.

Trek Leather: A New Avenue for CBP Enforcement 

The recent ruling in U.S. v. Trek Leather, Inc and Harish Shadadpuri allows for increased enforcement and penalty activities by US Customs and Border Protection, specifically under Section 1592. A higher vigilance should be sought when it comes to import compliance procedures. Read specifics about the case and what you should be on the lookout for. 

US and Others Step Up Sanctions Against Russia 

The United States, Canada, Japan and the EU have all imposed sanctions against Russia, which could result in administrative and criminal penalties if violated. Read more about the sectorial and financial sanctions as well as asset freezes and money laundering concerns. 

Brand Owners Beware: Important Changes in Canadian Trademark Law are on the Horizon 

Bill C-31, the Economic Action Plan Act 2014, will have a significant impact on brand owners if it passes – and it likely will. We focus on six key action items we recommend you consider, in addition to reviewing your portfolio and consulting with counsel. 

Ukraine-Related Sanctions Update: OFAC Issues Sanction Regulations; President Withdraws GSP Status for Russia 

The US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has formally implemented Ukraine-related sanctions set forth in a handful of Executive Orders. As of now, an abbreviated version of the sanctions has been published with a more comprehensive publication to follow. With President Obama also intending to withdraw beneficiary developing country status from Russia, companies should closely monitor this rapidly developing situation. 

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