March 26, 2001

2001 ICSC Spring Convention

Holland & Knight Newsletter
Janis Boyarsky Schiff | Steve Snively

"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players....." As You Like It, Act II, Scene 7

Those famous words of William Shakespeare describe the retail industry. This year, the stage will be the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) annual Spring Convention on May 20 - 23, 2001, at the Hilton Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The players include a cast of familiar faces, the developers, retailers, investors and other characters who provide the flair, pageantry and excitement for which this industry is known. Much has happened in the retail industry since last year’s convention.

We anguished for months with a presidential election which, depending on your political affiliation, was a tragedy or comedy. Wall Street, fueled by over-investment and unstable stock values in the dot-com sector, turned timid at year-end, raising concerns over inflation and shrinking economic growth. There was a corresponding decrease in shopping center construction starts during that period.

Fears over the impact of the Internet on bricks’n’mortar stores are still voiced. Internet sales are increasing for service-based businesses relating to travel, and niche retail businesses selling books and computers. The inability to touch merchandise, technological obstacles ordering goods via computer presents to some consumers, the inability of children without credit cards to purchase goods online, costs and delays associated with delivery and customer service problems relating to exchanges still pose formidable obstacles to expanded use of the Internet for the retail sale of merchandise. Some retailers have developed brand-name merchandise for which they can create demand, and control sales on the Internet through captive Web sites. Other retailers promote their Web sites in stores, have installed computers where merchandise can be ordered and use existing retail outlets for exchanges by the customers. By contrast, an increasing number of Internet-based businesses are opening traditional stores. Notwithstanding the heightened media attention within the retail industry, many still consider the Internet to be much ado about nothing.

These issues, and others relating to the rapidly evolving retail industry, will be addressed at the ICSC Spring Convention. It remains the most efficient and effective way to learn, network and conduct business. This year, the format has changed. The Trade Expo and Leasing Mall will take place on overlapping days and provide more flexibility to registrants in attending events. The Educational Sessions will be expanded and address new topics.

The improved ICSC Web site at www.icsc.org contains detailed information about the Spring Convention, including a database of registrants which is updated daily. That database can be searched, either by individual name or company. The name of each registrant is accompanied by an e-mail address permitting immediate contact. This is a great way to arrange important deal-making meetings. This year 17 members of Holland & Knight’s retail development group will be attending the Spring Convention to meet with our clients, negotiate and complete retail deals for them.

This edition of Property Writes includes articles on topics of special importance to the retail industry, including covenants for continuous operation, environmental liabilities, assignment of leases, percentage rent, parking requirements and casualty losses. We hope you find these articles helpful in your business. The retail development group of Holland & Knight LLP has attorneys throughout the nation, and assists developers, tenants, lenders, investors and others with legal matters relating to the retail industry. Holland & Knight has expanded its retail development group to Los Angeles and San Francisco, and has increased its capabilities in the Boston and Washington, D.C., offices.  We are currently working on major new projects for clients in San Jose, CA, Virginia Beach, VA, Daytona Beach, FL, and Washington, D.C.  We also represent several national retailers with their expansion programs throughout the country. For more information about the law firm and individual lawyers, please visit our Web site at www.hklaw.com.

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