Key risk management strategies: five proactive steps for global retail brands

by DLA Piper

DLA Piper

When a retail brand is looking to expand globally or finds itself embroiled in an investigation, there are bespoke issues that branded retailers must focus on or risk losing credibility and revenue. In today's world of viral videos and social media pressure on brands and celebrities, risk management and proactive strategies to avoid missteps are critical to maintaining and growing a retail brand.

  1. Legal and marketing integration. A retailer's brand is its currency. When facing an investigation, a local issue can quickly become a global problem. Unlike some industries in which an investigation can be handled behind the scenes as a legal matter, an investigation in the retail industry can quickly become the subject of social media, and the top priority for the CMO and CEO. Every step of the investigation should be integrated into a coordinated communications plan with the marketing team to avoid unintentional issues.
  2. Integration with corporate mission. Given the transparent nature of the industry, risk management efforts should be considered as a market differentiator and extension of the company's core values that can provide value-add to the business by building consumer good will. For example, consumers are increasingly placing value in companies that identify and treat cybersecurity as a top priority after seeing so many data breach stories in the news. A proactive approach to investigations and strong corporate policies can drive employee and customer loyalty.
  3. Protecting the crown jewels. For a retail business, the brand name and both tangible and intangible intellectual property are mission-critical assets. Theft, misappropriation, infringement and tarnishment of these assets can be devastating to new opportunities and significantly impact the existing business. Retailers must consider the legal and practical impact of an issue – and the solution – in investigations. Whether it is a resolution with a government regulator or a policy being considered as a result of an investigation, the intellectual property and marketing teams should be consulted as part of the solution.
  4. Work environment. Although employment regulations can differ significantly from country to country, hot button issues continue to be immigration, discrimination, wage and hour, personnel classification, termination, benefits and compensation. These issues are important in considering how employees may respond to investigations (including to cooperate in them) and how a company can take action to address misconduct identified through the investigation. A well-crafted, consistent and well-executed plan for addressing these issues will not only protect the company from liability, but also serves as a proactive way to drive the image of the brand.
  5. Anti-corruption. Regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies across the globe are aggressively enforcing anti-corruption laws. Often these laws are nuanced and can be inadvertently triggered by what some may consider activities in the ordinary course of business, including in supply and manufacturing relations. Companies in the retail sector must therefore implement strategies to properly train at-risk personnel, investigate compliance and rapidly respond to crises as they arise.

Investigations can seem like a negative, but they are also an opportunity to strengthen a retailer's brand, when considering the unique challenges for companies that rely on their brands to drive sales. In order to run an effective investigation, and protect the brand, companies and legal teams should use an integrated approach involving collaboration with the legal, marketing and executive teams. As retailers advance their global strategy, a proactive approach through the development of a strong global policy can be a triple net winning strategy for a company: advancing  the company's mission, strengthening employee loyalty and driving more customers and revenue growth to the bottom line.

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© DLA Piper | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

DLA Piper

DLA Piper on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.