DILLARD’S SUES LANDLORD: Dillard’s Inc. and a mall co-owned by Simon Property Group Inc. and General Growth Properties Inc. have traded lawsuits over conditions at the Texas shopping center. In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Austin, Tex., on March 27, the Little Rock, Ark.-based department store sought to break its lease with the Highland Mall Limited Partnership. The retailer accused the owners of the Austin mall of allowing it to “deteriorate in character and quality such that it is now approximately half vacant” and letting the conditions lead to a “poor tenant mix.” In a counterclaim filed Wednesday, Highland Mall accused Dillard’s of breach of contract for failing to pay electrical and common-area maintenance charges. The mall further alleged the chain had made “defamatory and disparaging statements” in a media campaign it said Dillard’s designed to misinform the public of the mall’s conditions and safety. Representatives of Dillard’s, General Growth and Simon did not return calls seeking comment. General Growth filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on April 16.
This story first appeared in the April 23, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
COUNTERFEIT SEIZURE: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials seized counterfeit accessories worth an estimated $1.3 million at retail at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, the agency said Wednesday. The cache included handbags, purses, wallets, jewelry and tote bags with fake trademarks of Prada, Coach, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel and Tiffany. The shipment of more than 2,000 counterfeit items was en route from Hong Kong to Toronto, authorities said.