• WINTER BANANA: Banana Republic has signed a lease for an 8,000-square-foot street-level space in the Winter Garden at Three World Financial Center, according to the landlord, Brookfield Properties Corp. The store is expected to open in February. Rizzoli previously occupied the site, but closed the store before Sept. 11, 2001. Banana Republic was represented by Steve Asch of Newmark/New Spectrum. Brookfield was represented by Ed Hogan of Brookfield, which has a portfolio of 47 commercial properties and development sites totaling 46 million square feet, including the 14-acre World Financial Center in New York and BCE Place in Toronto.

  • LEVI’S OFFERS MOTHERLODE: For the holiday shopping season, Levi Strauss & Co. is conducting a “Motherlode” sweepstakes that will give consumers who purchase Levi’s and Dockers products a chance to win between $50,000 and $10 million. The contest, which will be promoted in TV and print ads, enrolls shoppers who use retailers’ private label credit cards, including Kohl’s, J.C. Penney, divisions of May Department Stores Co., Sears, Goody’s and Mervyn’s. The grand-prize winner of the contest, which runs Nov. 1 to Jan. 4, will win a January two-night trip for two to Levi’s hometown of San Francisco. While out there, the winner will have to complete a matching game to determine whether the prize is $50,000, $1 million or $10 million.

  • TAX-ING DECISION: The New Jersey Tax Court determined last week that Lanco Inc., the Delaware-based subsidiary of Lane Bryant that licenses trademarks to Lane Bryant Inc., is not liable for state corporate income taxes on royalty payments received from the retail chain. While the director of the division of taxation had contended that Lanco was liable for the taxes, the court found otherwise, agreeing with Lanco’s position that it was not liable because it had neither offices, employees nor a business in New Jersey. The court said in its opinion that a “physical presence is a necessary element” in establishing tax liability. The matter predates Charming Shoppes’ 2001 acquisition of Lane Bryant from Limited Brands.

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