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Typically, retailers receive shipments of stock prior to its street date release, so that the product can be placed on display shelves for store opening that day. Shipments come marked very clearly with a "do not sell before release date" label designating a street date mandated by the distributor. Shipments may sometimes arrive up to three weeks in advance.
Retail outlets can be severely punished by manufacturers for releasing a product even a day before the street date, a process known as "breaking street." If a retailer breaches the contract establishing a street date, the manufacturer may impose fines, may withdraw privileges to distribute future products from that manufacturer, and may file a lawsuit to enforce the contract.