INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE

Retail Industry

LEADERSHIP: Barry M. Abelson

Corporate

Examples of our corporate and securities work in the retail industry include representing:

  • the world’s leading designer, manufacturer and retailer of maternity clothing as general counsel for more than 30 years, assisting in the transformation of the company from a start-up based in the founder’s home to a multi-million dollar public company with more than 1,000 retail locations; we have represented the founders and the company in virtually every legal area, including corporate governance, strategic transactions, finance, real estate, intellectual property, dispute resolution, regulatory matters and more
  • a leading discount retailer for more than 15 years in numerous corporate, finance and other matters, including venture and subsequent financing rounds, its $190 million IPO, $465 million secondary offering, and a $250 million secondary offering, and governance and public company compliance matters
  • a leading e-commerce and cloud services company in technology contracts and related matters
  • a publicly traded real estate investment trust that offers self-storage rental units as well as retail storefronts for a variety of businesses, in corporate governance, finance, strategic transactions, employee benefits and other matters
  • a retail chain focusing on home décor and furnishings, with more than 300 stores in 35 states, in corporate governance, finance, tax, benefits and other corporate matters
  • a publicly traded provider and online retailer of weight loss products and services in a variety of corporate, governance, public company compliance, finance, benefits and tax matters
  • a home shopping network in numerous corporate, intellectual property, finance, benefits, labor and other matters
  • a national restaurant chain since 1987 in its corporate finance transactions, including its IPO, secondary offerings, institutional debt financings, commercial debt financings and a going private transaction
  • a cosmetics company in a stock purchase sale to an online cosmetics store
  • a leader in the development of innovative delivery systems for the nutrition industry, in its sale to a manufacturer of ready-to-drink energy and endurance beverages, chews, powdered drink mixes, shots and concentrates sold in retail stores nationwide
  • a home goods and security systems manufacturing company in its merger with a personal and commercial locks company
  • a buyer in connection with the acquisition of the nation’s oldest wallpaper firm
  • a nutritional supplements manufacturing company in its acquisition of a leading weight management products and services company from its parent holding company. This transaction included the negotiation of its IP rights, trademarks and copyrights, including the license-back of IP rights for a contract, and included a significant consulting agreement with the brand spokesperson.
  • a portfolio company of one of the world’s largest private equity firms in the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of an e-commerce plumbing supplies and related commercial goods company in California
  • a global, multichannel video game, consumer electronics and wireless services retailer in its acquisition of all outstanding shares of a leading distributor of video game-themed merchandise for a total equity value of $150 million
  • a market leader in the retail energy drinks sector in connection with a $450 million secured 144A issuance (secured; 144A for life)
  •  a designer and retailer of technical athletic apparel in its $375 million IPO
  • a manufacturer of licensed sports-team apparel in various corporate matters
  • an investment group that acquired fast food franchises
  • a gift store chain in its IPO
  • a buyer in an acquisition of a 75-store specialty retailer
  • a Boston-based private equity firm in a $75 million leveraged recapitalization of a specialty retail chain
  • a private equity investor in connection with the purchase of a chain of 110 separately incorporated retail outlets and subsequent roll-up, including three-tier financing of the purchase
  • a large Midwest investment banker in the leveraged acquisition and subsequent public offering of a chain of women’s apparel shops.

Intellectual Property

Examples of our experience include:

  • represented a multinational home shopping retailer in the development and licensing agreements in connection with the worldwide implementation of an online consumer goods retail operation, as well as in numerous other intellectual property, corporate, benefits, labor and other matters
  • representing apparel manufacturers and retailers in defense of fabric design copyright infringement claims
  • providing patent and trademark application, prosecution, enforcement and portfolio management advice to a leading designer, manufacturer and retailer of home furnishings and accessories on behalf of a regional convenience store chain, successfully defended a motion for TRO and preliminary injunction brought by international restaurant chain for alleged trademark infringement
  • secured first ever in U.S. permanent facility/venue permanent injunction and order of seizure to prevent sale of counterfeit merchandise (including Coach, Kate Spade, Burberry, Gucci, Tiffany, etc.) at a notorious regional flea market
  • provided oversight, management and maintenance of intellectual property prosecution requirements and related transactional issues for thousands of trademarks in numerous fields, including the largest U.S. manufacturer and retailer of maternity wear and accessories, and another large manufacturer and retailer of clothing and accessory products
  • handling numerous counterfeit seizures for a leading manufacturer and retailer of backpacks
  • $8 million judgment for damages, attorneys’ fees and permanent injunction against internet cybersquatter/counterfeiter of luxury watches on behalf of famous luxury watchmaker
  • $1.6 million judgment for damages and attorneys’ fees against internet cybersquatter/counterfeiter of luxury leather goods and sunglasses on behalf of famous luxury goods manufacturer and famous designer sunglass company
  • stopped competitor’s use of Pizza Hut’s newer trademarks for family dining – “Italian Bistro.”

Labor and Employment

Examples of work in these areas for retail clients include:

  • comprehensive labor and employment services for a convenience store chain with more than 28,000 employees and more than 750 stores in six states
  • successful settlement of significant DOL wage and hour audits on behalf of clients in retail
  • successful representation of retailers in defeating attempts by certain unions to organize employees
  • defending an acclaimed supermarket chain voted among the “Best Places to Work in America” in employment litigation throughout New Jersey defended a national retailer in collective actions and statewide class actions brought under the FLSA and related state wage-and-hour statutes in the Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • counseling a major supermarket chain on all aspects of its multi-employer employee benefits plan
  • designing and assisting in implementation of defined benefit pension plan and employee savings plan for large regional department store chain.

Real Estate

Examples of real estate work for retail clients include representing:

  • a national retail pharmacy chain in numerous real estate matters, including the development of its national sale-leaseback program and the development of a 900,000 square-foot built-to-suit distribution center
  • a Canadian beauty products company with retail locations and offices in the U.S., UK, Mexico and South Korea as well as Canada, in all of its U.S. leasing matters
  • a major national retailer in the acquisition of 15 acres for a new retail store location together with joint development agreement and agreements for easements, covenants and restrictions
  • a high end men’s fashion company in connection with multi-state retail store leases in various shopping malls
  • an international fashion company in connection with multi-state franchising in the U.S.
  • a high end international fashion company in connection with the construction, renovation and establishment of a retail clothing store on Madison Avenue
  • the largest U.S. discount retailer in Pennsylvania real estate issues
  • a national fast food restaurant franchisee in Pennsylvania zoning and real estate matters
  • numerous clients in the purchase of shopping centers, office buildings and apartment buildings in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, District of Columbia, North Carolina and Texas
  • landlords and tenants in the leasing of office, retail and commercial space in Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, District of Columbia and Texas
  • a hardware company, in acquisition of garden tool manufacturing and distribution facilities
  • a client in the development of a regional shopping center, including big box retail anchor
  • a major private real estate developer in the development, leasing, sale and financing of a 2.5 million to 3 million square-foot mixed-use development (commercial, office, big box retail and pad site retail)
  • a national retailer in site procurement and development of big box retail sites
  • major national retailers in ground lease and space lease and sale transactions for anchor stores at shopping center and commercial parks
  • major restaurant chains in ground lease and sale transactions for pad sites at shopping centers and commercial parks
  • a syndicator in the acquisition, development and syndication of apartment buildings, shopping centers and office buildings
  • a real estate investment trust (REIT) and its joint venture partners in the acquisitions and sales of shopping centers and other commercial properties
  • the owner and developer of Palmer Square, a planned commercial development of upscale stores, offices, restaurants and apartments (Princeton, NJ)
  • the world’s largest retailer in obtaining approvals for store expansions and new advertising features (Freehold, Cinnaminson and Turnersville, NJ).

Bankruptcy and Reorganization

Examples of retail bankruptcy matters include:

Debtor Counsel (lead or co-counsel)

  • debtor counsel in General Wireless Operations, Inc. (d/b/a RadioShack)
  • debtor co-counsel in Radio Shack Corporation
  • debtor co-counsel in Bob’s Stores, Inc.
  • debtor counsel in Venture Stores, Inc.
  • debtor co-counsel in General Cinemas, Inc.
  • debtor counsel in Trimble Western Furnishings, Inc.
  • debtors in Chapter 11 proceedings, including retail, technology, manufacturing, transportation and production companies
  • debtor counsel in Venture Stores
  • debtor counsel in Trimark, Inc.

Creditors’ Committee (lead or co-counsel)

  • member of creditors’ committee in Everything But Water, Inc.
  • member of creditors’ committee in Fruit of the Loom
  • member of creditors’ committee in Grand Union Company
  • member of creditors’ committee in Hechinger’s, Inc.
  • member of numerous creditors’ committees in bankruptcies involving banking, manufacturing, construction and retail concerns in the District of Delaware
  • chairmen and members of creditors’ committees
  • creditors, landlords and asset acquirers in Chapter 11 cases involving retail, manufacturing and service businesses
  • member of creditors’ committee, Montgomery Ward.

Litigation

Examples of cases involving clients in retail industries include:

  • defending a leading worldwide retailer in a major consumer class action in New Jersey state court
  • represented a national drugstore chain in a variety of contract disputes
  • represented an international consumer products company in a dispute over a logistics services contract
  • representation of national pizza franchisor in mass action by franchisees challenging practices requiring purchase of ingredients and supplies from franchisor
  • defending a petroleum refiner and marketer against bad faith pricing claims brought by 12 franchisees who also seek to represent a nationwide class of franchisees, as well as advice about its litigation options in defending state law claims of bad faith pricing and common law breach of the implied covenant of good faith
  • defended a national drug store chain charged with violating the privacy rights of customers in connection with information provided on sales receipts
  • represented a shopping mall owner seeking emergency relief to prevent a demonstration against a retail tenant
  • represented one of the world’s largest multimedia retailers in a civil action brought by the U.S. Department of Justice alleging that the retailer made false and deceptive advertising claims in violation of the FTC Act on live television programs
  • defended former executive of one of the nation’s largest retailers against a $3.4 million claim alleging fraud, conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty
  • represented an e-commerce entity in a putative class action alleging unauthorized charges for Internet purchases in violations of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) and the improper interception of debit card information in violation of the Electronic Communications and Privacy Act (ECPA)
  • defended a national retailer in a class action challenging a food marketing campaign and alleging violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and the New Jersey Truth In Consumer Contract Warranty and Notice Act
  • represented a leading manufacturer and retailer in successfully resolving – with no consent order or penalty imposed – a six-month FTC investigation into alleged deceptive marketing practices, including the company’s in-store promotion of a magazine and its procedures for obtaining and transmitting customer data to the magazine publisher
  • defended a manufacturer and distributor of home care products in a federal class action arising from the retailer’s product claims, which were previously investigated by the FTC; obtained a favorable settlement on all pending claims
  • advised a clothing manufacturer and retailer in connection with an analysis of deceptive sales practices used by a competing company
  • counseled a retailer with over 1,500 locations in connection with an evaluation of available remedies against a competitor that was violating FTC policies relating to “sales”
  • assisted a retailer in redesigning promotional material and employee training procedures to comply with FTC policies.