Call to Action! Help Revente’s Last Call Keep its Name!

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Peplum Power!

I need your help.

Hello Friends,

Revente’s Last Call is in trouble, and needs your help.  In 2+ years I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve never asked for any favors.  But this is serious.

When I started my 365 day project of refashioning a used and/or abused item of clothing every day, I needed to pick an awesome organization to partner with.  I immediately thought of Revente’s Last Call, a small Charity resale shop that opened in Columbia SC in 2010.  ALL of their net profits go straight to the Columbia Women’s Shelter.  To date, they’ve donated over $40,000 to women and children in need.  As most of you know, I donated every piece of clothing I made last year to this shop.  Without RLC, my project would have been pretty meaningless.

Debbie and Patti…helping The Women’s Shelter do its good work!

Sounds great doesn’t it?  So what’s the problem?

Boo! Hiss!

Neiman Marcus sent RLC a letter ordering them to stop using the words “Last Call” in their store name, which they are arguing their outlet store owns the trademark for.

Really?
Don’t even THINK of calling “Last Call!”, Fella!

Now, as much as I LOVE the idea of my fave bars no longer being able to kick my tipsy self out onto the street at the end of the night (Imagine a drunken me yelling, “Hey!  You can’t call Last Call!” That’s trademark infringement!!!!! *BURP*”), I can’t just sit on my hands and let this corporate bullying stand.

Neiman Marcus is a (ridiculously) high end retailer.  Revente’s Last Call is a charity resale shop.  Just image a gigantic NM store next to the tiny local thrift store with a hand-painted sign.  And Neiman Marcus has the audacity to accuse RLC of “unfair competition”????

It makes my blood boil, folks.

What’s in a Name?

The only resolution that NM is offering is for Revente’s Last Call to change their name…and fast.  Rebranding is expensive, folks.  RLC will have to completely separate itself from the name that they’ve built a stellar reputation with.  By agreeing to Neiman Marcus’ demand, do they validate their false claims of willful deception?

Also, keep in mind that Revente’s Last Call gives all of their net profits to a charity that helps women who are struggling with problems that are much bigger than a need for high-end retail therapy.

I feel for ya honey. I really do. *SARCASM*

This doesn’t exactly leave them poised to pay legal expenses to go up against a retail giant like NM.

What can you do?

1.  You can go to the Last Call By Neiman Marcus Facebook page and let them know what you think.

2.  You can send an email to the Media and Public Relations folks at Neiman Marcus.  Gabrielle_DePapp@neimanmarcus.com , Mackay_Boynton@neimanmarcus.com , and Melinda_Lee@neimanmarcus.com.  While you’re at it, why not contact Corporate Communications as well? Ginger_Reeder@neimanmarcus.com

3.  You can friend Revente’s Last Call on Facebook to show your support.

3.  You can also join the Help Revente’s Last Call Keep Its Name group.

Let’s let Neiman Marcus know that we value our small charity thrift stores, and we won’t let them be bullied!

Thank you.

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40 thoughts on “Call to Action! Help Revente’s Last Call Keep its Name!

  1. that completely sucks! i´ve friended them; too bad i live in an other country, love to support in any other way =( …hopefully it will all work out for Revente´s!

    by the way love your blog, recently discovered it thanks to pinterest, you´re a amazing!

  2. Start on online petition and ask people to sign as well! At the very least, you will have a good showing of support for Revente’s Last Call all in one visible place.

  3. I did all of these things. I live nowhere near Revente’s Last Call, but it sounds like a great organization, so they have my support!

  4. I’m a marketing professor and researcher. I’ll be glad to let Niemann know I’d testify against them as an expert witness on this one. “Revente’s Last Call” is a different name than “Last Call by Niemann Marcus,” – the combination of the words “last” and “call” are probably not trademarked independent of the other portions of the brand. Further, there is no way that Revente is going to steal market share from Niemann or create any confusion about their brand. Ridiculous.

  5. I am so disgusted by the bullying tactic of big business. As a previous Consignment Store Owner, I know that this would cost this small business too much to even honor the request. They would have to redo the signs and anything else that have with the name. It’s just so stupid, nobody is going to mistake these two businesses. I have a feeling all the publicity you have been getting and in turn Revente”s Last Call is just too much for them. They should be ashamed of themselves for attacking people who do such good things for others and hold themselves to a higher standard. These companies have such high power attorneys and it is sickening. Please let me know if there is an online petition that gets started or anything else I can do. Already on my way to send e-mails.

  6. Hello!! I am a subscriber to your blog and I drool over every entry. I am a law school graduate, but I don\’t practice in SC…nevertheless, my immediate thought was for Revente\’s last call to contact USC\’s law school, which is right in Columbia. They have a pro bono program, and they may be able to give some valuable help and insight. I love your blog and fully support your cause and Revente\’s cause! Here is the link to the law school\’s pro bono program:
    http://law.sc.edu/pro_bono/
    May God bless you!

  7. Done. FB post, email to the addy’s listed. I really hate that my event career is covered under the mantle of ‘marketing’ communication.

  8. Hi Jillian, I usually just lurk, but this post spurred me to action. I did everything on your list, and I hope I can somehow help make a difference in the way Neiman Marcus views this.

  9. Did as you requested, Jillian. Shocking bully boy tactics. I hope they see sense. Seems to me like lawyers keeping themselves in a job.

  10. This is a copy of the response I received from Neiman Marcus:

    Thank you for your email. As any business owner does, we have an obligation to protect our trademarks and we cannot pick and choose where to do so. (And to answer a popular question, our trademark extends to apparel retailers, not to bars or TV shows.) Our legal team has never threatened to shut down or sue Revente’s, but wanted to talk to its owners about changing the name in a reasonable period of time. As we stated in our letter to Revente’s Last Call, based on the nature of their business, we would be willing to consider an amicable resolution to this issue. We remain committed to that offer.

    ________________________________
    Ginger Reeder
    Vice President, Corporate Communications
    Neiman Marcus Group Services
    1700 Pacific Avenue, Suite 1300
    Dallas, TX 75201
    214.573.5822

    Still sounds to me like they will be forced to change their name…. I am familiar with this process as my husband and I started a business in 1988. A small Mom and Pop part-time machine shop ( 2 employees , he and I) in Maryland. The hub handed out a business card at a Chicago Machinery Show and within a week we received a letter from a lawyer for a company with the same name threatening to sue us unless we changed our name immediately! Well many hundred dollars later, we did change the name, but only because had we fought it we would have had to shut the business. The company who was going to sue was a small business with less than 50 employees and they were able to scare us into spending more money than we had (had to borrow from personal savings). Long story short, there is no doubt that Revente will be forced to change. Nobody cares about the little guy anymore. And heaven forbid you be a non-profit they will definitely find a way to crush you!

    1. NM DOES have the capacity to choose to not pick on this tiny thrift store that is in no way a threat to them.

      And if Revente’s Last Call is forced to change their name due to NM’s bullying, I hope there’s an accompanying media sh*tstorm for them to deal with for it.

  11. This is just as absurd as Metallica sueing a furniture store for causing Name confusion!!! I am with you all the way on this Sister!! Just let me know whats needed and I will do whatever i can from a 24 hour drive away :)

  12. I will do that when I return from my trip and have my own pc….Revente’s Last Call is not the same …If their store isnt working it isnt from your post… who do they thinkthey are?? The bigger they are the harder they fall!!  Donna Lais   a loyal fan and admirer of how you have marketed your talent!!

    ________________________________

  13. I ma happy to say we have a wonderful attorney who has offered his services. “Last Call” is indeed trademarked by NM and we never, ever intended to mislead anyone by naming our little shop “REVENTE’S Last Call” as we simply saw it as an extension of our “mother ship” shop, Revente. We are working with NM for an amicable resolution and they have been very cordial and receptive to our attorney. Let’s hope for the best and thank you ALL for your support.
    Debbie McDaniel
    Founder of RLC

  14. Have you contacted your friends at the national morning show you were on? Maybe they would be interested in a public.interest story about.this situation. I am certain the.minute the general public becomes aware of NJM bad behavior, NJM will be rethinking their harassment of a little resale shop.

  15. Could they ask the big company to pay for the costs incurred in the name change? That would generate good will and be a charitable donation.

    I’ve heard that if these companies don’t pursue each and every so-called infringement of their trademark then it opens the door for another company to come in and use it, then defend themselves on the grounds that there is a precedent for the trademark not being protected. It does give rise to ridiculous and unfair situations. The reason I heard about it before was because the US Olympic Committee told the online yarn based social network site Ravelry which I am a member of that they could not use the term Ravelympics for their event where people knit and crochet things alongside the Olympics! Totally crazy and ridiculous, but they had to change it to Ravellenic games. Of course that wasn’t a charity and didn’t cost any money, but the issues were similar.

  16. It is kinda funny that a girl from Chicago knows about Revente’s Last Call but I had never even heard of Last Call by NM – I will be doing my part to support a non-profit. If their names was Last Call by Revente or if it was just Last Call I think it would be totally different.

  17. Legally, if NM chooses not to protect its trademark in a single instance, they lose any future claim to it. However, there are compromise positions that can be reached. This is actually a pretty common situation in the realm of college / high school sports. A college typically has trademarked sports logos and mascots, and high schools will sometimes ‘borrow’ these for their own teams. This is great advertising for the college, and would be a win-win… however the college would lose its trademarked images and logos if it refused to ‘defend’ them, allowing anyone anywhere to create and sell merchandise using the trademarked logos.

    In these situations, all that’s required is for the college to offer to license their trademarks to the high school. This is not at all uncommon and can be as simple as a $1 annual fee or something similar. The trademark owner has ‘defended’ its marks, and everyone gets the benefits from the arrangement.

    Here’s hoping that NM is willing to negotiate in good faith.

  18. Hello! I stumbled across your blog on Pinterest, and I love it…I am also intrigued by the plight of your friends to keep the name of their shop. I am currently the manager of The Domestic Abuse Council Thrift Store in Daytona Beach, FL. We are a non profit organization, and 100% of our proceeds go to working toward our mission of ending domestic violence in the community. I understand how important the money that is generated by a thrift store can be to a shelter organization…especially given that funding cuts are an ongoing threat, and the need for shelters have increased dramatically. Please continue to support you friends and post info…I will join the Facebook page and I wonder if sharing that NM is not only attacking a resale shop, but focusing on NM attacking a shelter…a safe haven for women, children…might have their PR people looking to spin a better light on this issue. You may have NM allowing the use of “their name” and making healthy donations of clearance items to be sold in the store. BEST OF LUCK!

  19. Small world, a friend of mine works for RLC and I just happened across this post via Pinterest :) I’d love to find out whatever happened with this…Hope that corporate bully backed down!

  20. I friended both the site, and the save them site, as well as emailed the names you gave, and included you in the email so you’d have a copy. How is that going btw? I noticed this post was in september. Is there a way to set up a “donation” page for if they do end up having to rebrand? Maybe they could make it something that would thumb their nose at NM like Revente’s LC or something, or NM made us change our name. =) Not really, but it’s a nice idea. Anyway, I hope you liked the email, I tried to write it from a standpoint that wouldn’t raise any hackles or close any minds….

    Kari

  21. just came across your blog and love all of your refashions. when i saw this story i was extremely interested to know what’s going on. my sister and brother in law opened a restaurant in lutz florida and after a while of being in business had to change the name of the restaurant due to NM. (who we appropriately nicknamed meanman mucus….) it’s ridiculous that a big, well to do corporation goes after the little mom and pop places! i hope revente’s has better luck than my sister did!

  22. Saw your post to Suzanne/theeclecticdomestic. While understanding it…I still found it quite…ironic…all things considered.

  23. Jillian! Love everything ya do. Such an inspiration. I tailor my own clothes, mostly jeans and skirts, but nothing as fun as what you do… Yet!

    Been working through your blog backwards a little at a time for about a week now (don’t ask me why I didn’t just start at the beginning) but now I just HAVE to ask. What happened with all this? Did reventé’s last call have to change their name??

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