The opportunities and risks facing the retail sector are continuously evolving. Addressing legal issues in this fast-paced and far-reaching industry requires an understanding of the rapidly shifting business demands and industry trends.
Blank Rome’s holistic, business-oriented approach focuses on our clients’ unique needs to provide pragmatic solutions in the face of an uncertain and changing environment. We represent a diverse group of retailers, manufacturers, and distributors, from traditional brick-and-mortar stores to online merchants operating in the United States.
Leveraging our experience and memberships with various leading institutions such as the Retail Industry Leaders Association, we offer a “one-stop shop” for our growing number of retail clients. Our multidisciplinary retail industry team includes attorneys from across our corporate, real estate, financial services, employment, litigation, international trade, and intellectual property practices with substantive knowledge of matters of importance to retailers, including real estate, mergers and acquisitions, workforce management, transportation, commercial and consumer litigation, sustainability, global sourcing and supply chain, advertising and contracts, bankruptcies and restructurings, intellectual property protection, tax and financing, and data privacy and security.
We have assisted clients in virtually every retail and e-commerce sector, including:
- Footwear & Apparel
- Consumer & Household Goods
- Fitness centers
- Furniture & Home improvement
- Media and Entertainment
- Food & Beverage
- Toys & Baby Products
- Wholesale & Bulk Sellers
How We Can Help
Over the years we have represented a wide variety of retail and Internet e-commerce companies in a range of matters, including in the following practice areas:
A strong corporate identity is one of the most important components of any company’s global brand strategy. Blank Rome offers a full range of trademark services, from selection, development, portfolio planning, and trademark clearance to registration, use, and maintenance. The result is a comprehensive brand strategy that helps our clients manage their companies’ trademarks and develop a reputation based on those marks.
Our award-winning trademark practice represents startups to Fortune 500 companies in a diverse range of industries, including consumer products, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, clothing and apparel, electronics, food service, communications equipment, specialty chemicals, computer hardware and software, and many more.
Key Contact: Sharon R. Klein
Our Privacy, Security & Data Protection group counsels retail and e-commerce companies on developing the most effective compliance structures regarding U.S., state and local regulations and guidelines that have emerged to address the growing spectrum of privacy and data security concerns associated with the use of digital media platforms to communicate with consumers. We also advise clients on data use strategies and help develop innovative and compliant methods to leverage data in advertising, marketing, and other business operations.
Key Contact: Ana Tagvoryan
Blank Rome’s retail industry team’s breadth of experience includes helping our clients with regulatory and consumer protection issues arising in investigations and in consumer class action litigation. Our attorneys have a deep understanding of the scope and dynamics of communications, marketing, and financial transactions and other offerings and ways of dealing with customers, such as mobile marketing; e-commerce business tools and transactions; tech-based financial services; subscription services (including auto-renewal issues); and other privacy, advertising, labeling, and marketing issues. We assist our retail clients with structuring compliance with regulatory obligations, and requirements related to state and federal law, as well as rules and regulations promulgated under federal statutes, state specific consumer protection laws, and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) and Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) regulations, among others. Also, our Proposition 65 team is well known across California, having handled dozens of cases throughout the state. With decades of experience, we help our national clients proactively minimize the risk of Notices of Violation and resulting private lawsuits with minimal impact to their corporate brand and reputation.
Blank Rome’s ADA Title III Litigation & Compliance Team is a national team of attorneys assisting our clients achieve and maintain compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Title III, as well as applicable state and local laws that mirror and expand upon its protections. As one of the deepest and most experienced teams in the country, we have defended and resolved ADA Title III claims and lawsuits, including putative class actions, for various clients in the retail industry (including those selling luxury and other types of consumer goods). We have offices and teams of attorneys handling these cases, not only in the four states in which the most ADA litigation is being brought—California, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania—but we also regularly advise clients and defend claims and lawsuits throughout the rest of the United States. Our ADA team advises retail clients on:
- Mobile Apps
- Ordering Kiosks
- Gift Cards
- Physical (“Brick-and-Mortar”) Public Accommodations (including restaurants, hotels, banks and stores)
Blank Rome’s retail industry attorneys have deep experience representing manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors of retail goods and products in all aspects of U.S. and global manufacturing, international trade, shipping, logistics, and sales, including relationships with vertical and horizontal partners. We advise on all aspects of our retail clients’ businesses at every level of a product’s lifecycle, starting with the creation of an idea or design through the manufacturing of the product, including its path to retail stores, including import/export, marketing, promotion, and distribution issues.
Blank Rome’s real estate attorneys represent a variety of retail tenants with all aspects of leasing transactions throughout the United States. Our attorneys have extensive experience advising tenants in retail leasing programs and all types of leases, including ground leases and sale-leaseback documents.
Every retailer faces different challenges and opportunities, and our team of experienced attorneys is adept at responding to client needs. Our deep understanding of the market enables us to quickly identify and capitalize on opportunities, while maintaining cost efficiency. We represent tenants in all retail sectors, including restaurants, luxury goods, clothiers, fast food chains, dry goods manufacturers, fitness centers, and more.
Key Contact: Megan E. Spitz
Blank Rome’s attorneys provide strategic advice regarding legal issues confronting marketing campaigns and have extensive experience in online and offline marketing campaigns, including:
- Preparing celebrity, athlete, and testimonial agreements, and working with their agencies;
- Preparing social network, promotional, and advertising agreements;
- Drafting of membership agreements for consumers;
- Webstore terms of sale and privacy notices;
- Advising on consumer protection issues in product launches; and
- Drafting terms and conditions for consumer goods delivery.
Key Contact: Nicole L. Johnson
Blank Rome’s prominent state + local tax (“SALT”) team includes attorneys who pioneered the nationwide practice of SALT with experience handling cases in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. From both national and state-specific perspectives, we can help steer you through the complexity of state and local tax issues and proactively manage and control your state and local tax burdens. Our SALT team takes into account the similarities, differences, and unique aspects of each jurisdiction’s tax laws and systems.
Our SALT team works with retail clients on state and local tax law planning throughout the country with a broad base of experience that includes matters involving:
- Corporate Franchise and Income Taxes
- Sales and Use Taxes
- Personal Income Taxes
- Real And Personal Property Taxes
- Local Business License Taxes
- Gross Receipts Taxes
- Transfer Taxes
- Severance Taxes
- Hotel Occupancy Taxes
- Energy/Utility Taxes
- Motor Fuels Taxes
- Unclaimed Property Obligations
Key Contact: Samuel D. Levy
Blank Rome’s luxury goods practice includes some of the country’s leading lawyers advising public and private companies selling luxury and retail goods around the world. Our attorneys represent luxury goods manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, licensors, licensees, and sellers, and their retail arms, in all aspects of U.S. and global manufacturing and sales, including relationships with vertical and horizontal partners.
We counsel leading fashion and design houses, apparel manufacturers and retailers, and luxury goods companies in all aspects of their vertical business, including the retail sale of goods. We act as outside general counsel and, in some cases, acting general counsel to companies involved in the manufacture, distribution, license, supply, and retail sale of fashion and luxury goods, including general retail sales for the world’s largest sellers. Our team appears in court around the country on behalf of our retail and luxury goods clients and consults with clients about best practices in a fluid industry. We are organized to be as nimble and responsive as fashion and luxury are fluid, maintaining a grasp on changing legal trends facing our clients and, indeed, often acting as the arm of such changes.
Key Contact: Jason E. Reisman
Blank Rome’s nationally recognized labor and employment attorneys represent clients in a wide array of issues faced by the retail sector, including employment, ERISA, and labor litigation and counseling. Our team is also at the forefront of many issues impacting the retail industry, including addressing discrimination claims, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charges, non-compete agreements, wage and hour claims, and Department of Labor audits.