​Blakes has a long history of serving Canada’s retail sector and has in the last few years assisted a number of top brands with the expansion of their retail operations into Canada.

These Canadian retail operations have taken many forms—free-standing stores, store-in-store operations, franchised locations and direct online sales to Canadian consumers from retailers who are both in and outside of Canada. Our Retail practice is able to provide advice on all aspects of establishing or expanding retail operations in Canada from sector-specific advice to the more general questions that clients need to address, such as choosing their form of business entity, structuring the ownership and cross-border financing of that entity, and qualifying it to do business in various jurisdictions in Canada. We also are able to provide income and commodity tax and customs advice relating to both the establishment and continuing operation of the business in Canada.

Blakes has extensive experience in the commercial leasing area both in shopping malls and on the high street. Similarly, we are able to provide employment and labour advice that is focused on some of the unique features and risks specific to employers in the retail sector, including ensuring compliance with both part-time and overtime employment standards requirements.

We also have broad-based expertise in sector-specific issues, including brand protection, packaging and labelling, consumer product safety, product recalls, advertising, privacy, anti-spam and the applicability of French language laws to retail operations in the province of Quebec. We are also able to advise clients on all aspects of franchising in Canada, including whether a particular relationship could, contrary to the expectations of the parties, be found to be a franchise under Canadian law. We are able to provide advice on all aspects of e-commerce, including website content, language law requirements, privacy, anti-spam, payment and credit card considerations and logistics, and fulfilment contracts.

In addition to new entrants into Canada we have many long-standing retail clients who look to us for advice on maintaining and expanding their Canadian business.

 Representative Matters

  • Advising Crate & Barrel on its expansion into Canada
  • Advising True Religion Apparel, Inc. on its expansion into Canada
  • Advising on the Oliver & Bonacini Group retail lease

Representative Clients

  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Bass Pro Group
  • Belron (Apple Auto Glass and Speedy Glass)
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Nespresso (Nestlé, S.A.)
  • PetSmart
  • Sephora


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Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4031
Areas of Expertise: Anti-Spam, Drugs & Medical Devices, IP Licensing & Agreements, Information Technology, Privacy, Life Sciences, Retail, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Cybersecurity, Government & Public Sectors, Consumer Protection, Autonomous & Connected Vehicles
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3314
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Governance, Private Equity, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Retail, Corporate & Commercial
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2704
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Equity Capital Markets, Corporate Governance, Mergers & Acquisitions, Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Mining, Private Equity, Retail, Africa, Europe, India, United States, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles, Mining Lending, Mining Streaming & Royalties
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3082
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Product Liability, Life Sciences, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Retail, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Automotive, Consumer Protection
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4265
Areas of Expertise: Intellectual Property, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Life Sciences, Privacy, Anti-Spam, Misleading Advertising, Drugs & Medical Devices, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Retail, Life Sciences, Consumer Protection
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5286
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Life Sciences, Financial Services, Retail, Insurance, Pension Funds Investment, Consumer/Retail Financial Services, Private Equity, FinTech, Insurance
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5297
Areas of Expertise: Outsourcing, FinTech, Technology, Banking, Insurance, Communications, Emerging Companies & Venture Capital, Manufacturing, Retail, Information Technology, Corporate & Commercial, Cybersecurity, Privacy, Procurement, Mergers & Acquisitions, Financial Services, IP Licensing & Agreements
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3323
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Product Liability, Corporate Litigation, Life Sciences, Retail, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Consumer Protection
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9660
Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Governance, Debt Capital Finance, Equity Capital Markets, Oil & Gas, Private Equity, Retail, Pension Funds Investment, Investment Funds, Investment Vehicles, Mergers, Acquisitions, & Divestitures
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9721
Areas of Expertise: Energy, Oil & Gas, Private Equity, Mergers & Acquisitions, Retail, Downstream & Marketing, Europe, Technology
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5258
Areas of Expertise: Technology, Mining, Automotive, Banking, Construction, Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Retail, Insurance, Tax Controversy & Litigation, Tax, Transfer Pricing, Sales & Commodity Taxes, Financial Services
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5261
Areas of Expertise: Copyright, IP Licensing & Agreements, IP Litigation, Trademarks, Life Sciences, Retail, Oil & Gas, Anti-Counterfeiting
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2765
Areas of Expertise: Drugs & Medical Devices, Anti-Spam, Trademarks, Life Sciences, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Retail, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Misleading Advertising, Consumer Protection, Competition & Antitrust
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