If there’s one thing that Macy’s doesn’t want atop its flagship, it’s the Amazon flag.  I’m Amy E. Feldman.

Retail giant Macy’s flagship location is a 2.2 million square foot building in New York City, which Macy’s owns.  But it rents the 2200 square foot billboard that sits on top, which, since 1963, has carried Macy’s star logo.  The lease for the billboard expired August 31, and Macy’s learned that the owner is in talks with a Macy’s competitor to rent it.  According to Macy’s, that retailer is Amazon.  Macy’s is furious.

Here’s the issue—there is no law that says that a landlord can’t rent space to a company’s competitor unless there is an exclusivity clause in the lease that prevents it.  Macy’s says that there is such a clause in its original 1963 lease, which remains to be seen.  But it’s a good lesson:  if you rent retail space, check your lease.  Make sure there’s an exclusivity clause to prevent your competitors from breathing down your neck.

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