Amazon is embroiled in a legal battle with US department store giant Macy’s as it attempts to stop the online giant advertising on a billboard outside its flagship New York store.
Macy’s has used the three-story billboard situated above its store in Manhattan’s Herald Square to display its own branding for over 50 years, but has been forced to give up the prime advertising space after failing to renew its contract with the landlord.
Amazon now reportedly plans to buy the billboard, and Macy’s is suing the billboards owner in a bid to stop the move from going ahead, stating it would do “immeasurable” damage to its brand.
The department store filed a complaint with the New York State Court last week stating that: “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”.
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According to Macy’s, which saw its lease on the 2200sq ft hoarding expire in August, it has held a deal with the landlord Kaufman since 1963 preventing it from allowing a competitor to advertise on the billboard.
“We expect to realise the benefits of these rights and have asked the court to protect them,” Macy’s said.
Kaufman has denied that it is in talks with Amazon, responding to the legal action stating: “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.”
Macy’s said in its filing that it learned in May that Kaufman was in talks with an online retailer which it had “little doubt” was Amazon.
Amazon has declined to comment on the story.