NEUSTADT AN DER AISCH, Germany, December 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Consumers being misled by counterfeit products offered for sale on Amazon Marketplace
BIRKENSTOCK GmbH & Co. KG and its affiliated companies are terminating their business relations with Amazon EU S.à.r.l. with effect from January 1, 2018. On this date, BIRKENSTOCK will completely discontinue direct deliveries provided by the U.S. online retailer's Luxembourg-based European subsidiary. This decision applies to the full BIRKENSTOCK product range.
The long-standing family-owned enterprise asserts a claim against the world's largest online retailer that there have been a series of violations of the law on the Marketplace platform operated by Amazon which the platform operator has failed to prevent of its own accord. On a number of occasions, BIRKENSTOCK lodged a complaint that counterfeit products of poor quality which infringed BIRKENSTOCK's trademark rights and misled the consumers regarding the origins of goods that were being made available on the platform.
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.
The breakdown in trust has prompted BIRKENSTOCK to now terminate its business relations with the online retailer in Europe, too. In January of this year, BIRKENSTOCK discontinued the deliveries in the United States which were handled by Amazon USA following a series of similar incidents there.
BIRKENSTOCK is a global footwear brand that stands for quality, function, and all-round well-being. With more than 3,500 employees, this traditional, sixth-generation family-run business is also one of the German footwear industry's biggest employers. The company's historic roots can be traced as far back as 1774. BIRKENSTOCK was already using the term 'footbed' in the 1930s, giving it the meaning which is commonly understood by consumers all over the world to this day - as a synonym for outstanding comfort when walking and standing. By the early 1970s, BIRKENSTOCK had become a global player. Manufactured in Germany, the sandals are now sold in more than 100 countries on all continents. BIRKENSTOCK also has a growing range of enclosed shoes, children's shoes, and occupational footwear, as well as specialist products for orthopedic retailers, socks, bags, and belts. In 2017, BIRKENSTOCK added sleep systems and natural cosmetics (BIRKENSTOCK Natural Care) to its portfolio of products. The company is headquartered in Neustadt (Wied). BIRKENSTOCK has nine sites in Germany, in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Bavaria, and Saxony. The long-standing family-owned enterprise also operates its own sales offices in the United States, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Denmark, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
Birkenstock GmbH & Co. KG
Burg Ockenfels, Linz
BIRKENSTOCK Campus, Neustadt (Wied)
Jochen Gutzy, Head of Communications