Retailers are driven by the need for cost efficiency and innovation. Global supply chain management and new channel strategies have made the sector increasingly dependent on a growing and shifting range of external suppliers, who themselves are competing in a changing environment.

As a result, a strategic approach to vendor management has become vital, as has a market-informed approach to procurement and contracting. Effective vendor selection, contracting and management has become a critical factor in achieving sustained competitive advantage.

We are able to advise and support our clients on the legal, transactional and regulatory aspects of their projects at every stage of the process from business case to contract, through change programmes, dispute resolution and exit. Our role can be specialist and consultative.

Our technology and outsourcing team is one of the largest and most highly-rated in Europe. On the technology side we understand online and POS/BOS systems, development and support. We also have the ability to advise on developments with new forms of technology, as well as in digital media, social networking and other channels to market; and on the legal implications of advances in CRM, market approaches to ERP systems or migration towards the cloud.

Our outsourcing group has a vast range of experience specific to retail, including all aspects of distribution centre management, logistics, IT, maintenance and support; as well as a wealth of expertise in other areas impacting retailers such as call centre, payroll and human resources outsourcing.

Our clients include famous names and new entrants, online and traditional retailers, international brands and ambitiously expanding business. 

Notable deals / highlights

  • Advised on a range of POS/BOS system transactions for retailers as diverse as supermarkets, car services, opticians and hotels and leisure companies.

  • Advised on a supply chain management rationalisation programme for a major retailer, including review and termination of existing relationships, negotiation of new contracts and transition to new suppliers.

  • Worked on flexible staffing contracts for logistics and warehousing staff with recruitment agencies (e.g. to cover seasonal demand).

  • Acted on in-store concession contracts, sometimes in conjunction with our top-rated franchising practice.

  • Advised on the build, integration and management of online transaction retail systems.

  • Worked on the roll-out of global e-commerce platforms, and on international e-commerce regulation.

  • Advised on ERP systems.

  • Acted on supplier change management programmes, including in dispute circumstances.

  • Worked on exit management and transition to new suppliers.

  • Acted on use of social media by online retailers.

  • Represented clients on IT procurement, licensing and open source issues.

  • Advised on telecoms outsourcing and MVNO deals.

Sector spotlight