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Macy's Sues to Keep Amazon Off Giant NYC Billboard

Retailer wants to block competitor from taking over space next to flagship store
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 30, 2021 4:11 AM CDT
Macy's Fights to Keep Amazon Off Giant Billboard
A traffic officer directs traffic next to Macy's flagship department store and its giant billboard in Herald Square in New York.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

(Newser) – Macy's has filed a lawsuit against the company that owns the giant billboard next to its flagship Manhattan store, fighting to prevent Amazon from taking over the advertising space that carried Macy's name for almost 60 years. In the lawsuit, filed last week in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, the department store retailer said there has been a restrictive covenant in place since 1963 barring the billboard space from being used by any Macy's competitor, the AP reports. But Macy's said that when it tried to negotiate a lease renewal this year, the billboard's owners, the Kaufman Organization, told them they were in discussions with a "prominent online retailer," and there was "little doubt" that meant Amazon, according to the lawsuit.

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In the lawsuit, Macy's asked the judge for an injunction that would keep Kaufman from leasing the space to Amazon or any other competitor. "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 said in the lawsuit. The lawsuit pointed out that the billboard is highly visible in its annual Thanksgiving Day parade, which is nationally televised.

(Read more Macy's stories.)

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