Bebeto Matthews / AP
NEW YORK – Macy’s has filed a lawsuit against the company that owns the giant billboard next to its flagship Manhattan store to prevent Amazon from taking over the ad space that has been Macy’s name for nearly 60 years.
In the lawsuit filed with the Manhattan State Supreme Court last week, the department store retailer said there was a restrictive agreement in place since 1963 prohibiting a competitor of Macy’s from using the billboard.
However, Macy’s said that the billboard’s owners, the Kaufman organization, in an attempt to negotiate a lease extension this year, told them that they were in talks with a “prominent online retailer” and that there were “few doubts” give what Amazon meant in the lawsuit.
Messages were left with the Kaufman organization soliciting comment. Amazon did not have a comment.
In the lawsuit, Macy’s asked the judge for an injunction that would prevent Kaufman from renting the space to Amazon or another competitor.
“The damage to the goodwill, the image, the reputation and the brand of Macy’s customers, should a ‘prominent online retailer’ (especially Amazon) advertise on the billboard, cannot be calculated,” says the lawsuit.
The lawsuit indicated that the billboard would be highly visible in their annual Thanksgiving Day parade, which is televised nationwide.