This dramatic retail showdown is happening in Westfield's Century City shopping mall in Los Angeles, which is home to high-end stores including Louis Vuitton, but also has lower-end chains like Gap and J Crew.
Tiffany’s lawyers definitely believe H&M, a Swedish fashion chain, will be too close for comfort and be bad for business. They are arguing that their contract with Westfield protects it from retailers "whose merchandise and/or price points are not considered to be luxury, upscale or better by conventional retail industry standards".
We will be watching this court case closely as we certainly have knowledge on the Australasian market that most luxury brands, when negotiating leases, include a clause on the level of other retailers they will accept next to them (sometimes naming them), in essence it gives brands an 'opt out clause' if the landlord does not deliver the quality of other tenants that are often discussed in the wooing process. If Tiffany & Co. wins, it may set a precedent that sees high-end brands able to safeguard the streetscapes in which their stores appear. Yes, we agree, it is about the mix of brands, however first and foremost it is about the environment. Like attracts like..
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