Retail Trend Spotter

Most employers are expected to pass on the IRS’ offer to temporarily delay collecting Social Security taxes.  For background, both employers and employees are generally required to pay a Social Security tax at a flat rate of 6.2% (for a total of 12.4%) on all wages.  In a separate article from our Corporate and Securities Blog, we discussed how the CARES Act allows employers to delay paying the employer’s portion of Social Security taxes. The Presidential Memorandum dated August 8, 2020 (the “Memorandum”) and IRS Notice 2020-65 (the “Notice”) now allows employers to delay collecting the employee’s portion of…
In prior posts (here and here), we raised questions that companies may want to ask when evaluating their arbitration clauses and making changes to them.  In this third installment, we look at what companies should be doing to ensure that they can present proof of their arbitration agreements if ever required to do so in court.  Your company may have a perfect arbitration clause, but if a customer claims never to have signed the arbitration agreement or not to have seen the website providing notice of the terms and conditions, you will have to present evidence that the…
Given the prevalence of trade secret misappropriation litigation among members of the fashion, beauty, and retail industry, those in that industry should (1) take care to protect their trade secrets from misuse by others and (2) consider steps to try to reduce the risk of misappropriation claims against them by others.  Both situations – loss of a valuable trade secret and burdensome litigation – can be devastating to a business.  We offer here some potential measures that businesses can take to attempt to avoid such undesirable situations. A common scenario which gives rise to misappropriation claims is the termination of:…
Arbitration clauses with class action waivers remain one of the most effective tools that consumer-facing companies can employ to fend off consumer class action litigation.  Yet many companies stumble both in getting their customers to agree to the arbitration clause and in drafting a clause that captures all claims that they might face.  As we continue to work, shop, and engage with the world from home, companies should perform a quick “health-check” of their arbitration clause, asking themselves at least the following questions: (1)  If you contract with your customers through formally executed documents, do you ensure that your customers…
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted on March 27, 2020, provides relief to corporate and non-corporate taxpayers by expanding the permitted use of net operating losses (“NOLs”). While prior to January 1, 2018 a calendar year taxpayer could carry back NOLs two years and carry them forward 20 years, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) altered the NOL regime by prohibiting NOL carrybacks for NOLs arising in taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2018 and limiting NOL deductions in such years to 80 percent of taxable income while permitting carryforwards indefinitely ). Now,…
In a post from our Class Action Defense Law Blog, we highlighted some questions that companies may want to ask when evaluating whether their arbitration clauses are enforceable.  If changes need to be made to those clauses, then companies should consider how to implement those changes so as to ensure those are enforceable too.  The following is what you should be thinking about and asking. If an agreement needs to be amended to add or modify an arbitration clause, you should strongly consider having customers re-agree to a contract or set of terms and conditions with the new arbitration…
World renowned beauty brand and Sheppard Mullin client Glossier is standing behind its values with a new initiative to provide grant funding to beauty companies owned by Black entrepreneurs. The company, started by all female founders, recognized the disproportionately small amount of venture capital funding that goes to businesses owned by Black women each year. Glossier’s initiative will provide advisory support and grants of up to $50,000 to Black beauty entrepreneurs whose applications are accepted. The company’s $1 million commitment to tackle inequity in the beauty industry also includes donations to non-profit organizations working to fight systemic racism every day.…
On March 22, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order that closed all non-essential businesses in New York State (the “Order”).  In connection with the Order, New York City restaurants were forced to reduce their operations to pick-up and delivery only.  On June 8, 2020, New York City entered into Phase I of the New York State reopening plan.  It is anticipated that sometime between June 22, 2020 and the beginning of July, 2020, New York City will enter into Phase II.  During Phase II, restaurants will not be allowed to serve patrons indoors, but will be permitted to commence…
This post originally appeared on the Council of Fashion Designers of America website, CFDA.com. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, fashion retail already faced difficult times with numerous bankruptcies, such as Barneys, Sonia Rykiel, Roberto Cavalli and Diesel.  Now with COVID-19, fashion retail confronts a “perfect storm” — the hurricane of the disruption of brick and mortar retail caused by omnichannel retailing and the Nor’easter resulting from the shutdown of all retail stores and lockdown of consumers in the US.  It is anticipated that retail bankruptcy filings will proliferate in the wake of COVID-19 and, as a result, it is important…
This post originally appeared on the Council of Fashion Designers of America website, CFDA.com. You’ve worked so hard to get your foot in the door with that prized retailer, striving mightily to please them. They’ve finally supported your line and you just shipped them a big order for Fall 2020. But that same retailer has now filed Chapter 11. What can you do to protect your inventory in the bankruptcy proceeding? Should you continue to do business with the retailer during the bankruptcy? And what can you do to avoid these problems in the future with other retailers?…
As we move into the second quarter of 2020, governments around the country are analyzing how to best open up their economies. Part of this will include people returning to work, restaurants, retail establishments, and other places of public accommodation. Landlords, business owners, and others want to know how to take steps to reopen safely while government mitigation efforts are being developed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 until a vaccine is developed. And where authorities don’t have specific mitigation efforts, instituting protocols will fall squarely on landlords, business owners, and those who operate places of public accommodation. Part…