GM walked by the Riccardi store the other day and saw that they have put back up the “Going Out of Business” sign. As GM explained back in April the last time the sign was up, this is illegal.
To sum it up, the District makes it a crime to put up “going out of business” or “fire sale” signs if you’re not really going out of business or are engaged in a true fire sale. The reason is that it is a form of false advertisement. Shoppers, especially tourists, are mislead to believe that they are getting a really great deal from a shop just trying to unload its remaining inventory.
So you can’t put up these signs and then not got out of business. You can’t put up these signs, “close” the shop, and then reopen shortly thereafter with a new name (a common strategy for these stores). You can’t even take delivery of new products while these signs are up.
This is illegal, but the reality is that the District is unlikely to do anything about it unless they get complaints. So if this low grade scam bothers you, call 311 and let them know.