Birkenstock, the German shoemaker famous for its sandals, has announced it will stop selling products on Amazon and will prevent third parties from selling its products on the site, according to a letter by Birkenstock Americas CEO David Kahan obtained by CNBC. The ban will go into effect January 1, 2017.
Birkenstock cited a surge of low-priced counterfeits on the site as its reason for pulling the product, and it is not alone in its concern: scores of manufacturers on Amazon are feeling the pressure of counterfeits and replicas.
Here’s more from the letter:
The Amazon marketplace, which operates as an “open market,” creates an environment where we experience unacceptable business practices which we believe jeopardize our brand. This includes postings by sellers proven to have counterfeit Birkenstock products. It also includes a constant stream of unidentifiable unauthorized sellers who show a blatant disregard for our pricing policies. Policing this activity internally and in partnership with Amazon.com has proven impossible.
Kahan noted that many counterfeit shoes will remain on the site after January 1.
“It may be counterfeit. It may be stolen. It may be manufactured under questionable labor and environmental conditions,” he said, and urged consumers to buy Birkenstock only from authorized retailers.
Amazon is currently being sued by Daimler AG, the German parent company of Mercedes-Benz, over the alleged sale of replica Mercedes-Benz wheels by a third-party manufacturer on the site.
Last year, Amazon won a similar case against Seattle-based novelty pillowcase maker Milo & Gabby, prompting the judge in that case to call for a revision of the law to keep up with the reality of today’s technology.