Birkenstock dumps Amazon citing too many counterfeits

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Footware retailer Birkenstock will cut their supply of stock to Amazon on New Year’s Day. As of the 1st of January 2018, Birkenstock have announced that they and all affiliated companies will sever business relationships with Amazon Retail claiming that there are too many counterfeit products on the marketplace.

Birkenstock say that on a number of occasions they lodged a complaint that poor quality counterfeit products were being made available on the Amazon. In their opinion, Amazon should be doing everything within its power to prevent this type of infringement but they’re falling short of Birkenstock’s expectations.

Putting the issue of legal obligations aside, Birkenstock is of the opinion that an integral part of a trusting business relationship is that, upon being first notified as the operator of the Marketplace platform of such a breach of the law, Amazon would, of its own accord, do everything within its power to prevent this type of and similar infringements. To this day, no binding statement has been made to the effect that no more counterfeit Birkenstock products would be offered for sale through the platform. Instead, there were further legal violations of a different nature in recent months which Amazon failed to proactively prevent.
– Birkenstock

In January of this year, Birkenstock discontinued shipments to Amazon in the US following a series of similar incidents. Now they will terminate shipments to all of Amazon’s EU country sites which is a pretty damning indictment on Amazon. Amazon Brand Registry is supposed protect brands, but it’s obviously not working for Birkenstock and it’s simply easier for them to walk away from one of the biggest marketplaces in the Western world than to deal with the issues of counterfeits.

In some ways this flies against the supposition that the best way to protect your brand is to sell on the marketplace yourself. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to buy Birkenstock on Amazon, it just means that they’ll be from third party products or sourced on the grey market. Birkenstock do their best in the US to coerce retail partners not to sell Birkenstock products on Amazon but inevitably some still do.

In the EU there have been a number of cases around restrictive trade agreements and currently it appears that only luxury brands get to say where their products can be sold. How much legal clout Birkenstock will have will largely depend if they can be considered a luxury brand otherwise, short of nefarious tactics, retailers will be free to sell on whichever platforms they choose.

If Birkenstock can’t make Amazon work of them and in partnership with Amazon stamp out counterfeits, then how many other brands will also walk away from marketplaces?

3 Responses

  1. YIPPEEE!!!!

    about time a business puts their name before lining Amazons pockets.
    eBay are even worse they are told about fake items and even when the seller states clearly in his description that the items are fake they do nothing. They just keep allowing their customers to be ripped off and take their fees as well.
    They say until Carl Zeiss tell them the item is fake they can do nothing so it seems if we all list stuff and say its fake we are fine until the real company do something. I even said so if its not fake even though the seller says its a fake its item not as described .

    they are not interested.

  2. This is GREAT NEWS and praise to Birkenstock for this move. More companies should DITCH Amazon to protect there precious brands. Amazon are a greedy vile out of control animal and just want to destroy the high street and all other on line marketing channels without paying tax.

    WELL DONE BIRKENSTOCK

  3. Amazon devalue so many of the products in our sector so quickly it is having a real negative effect across the whole industry. One of our major suppliers has really struggled this year because of them. End of the day you dance with the devil when you work with Amazon.

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