Just a few days after Walmart announced its “Premium Outdoor Store curated by Moosejaw,” it found itself on the receiving end of a cease and desist letter asking to be removed from the shop.
Black Diamond reportedly asked Walmart to stop using its name and trademarks “in a manner likely to confuse consumers into believing that Walmart is an authorized dealer of Black Diamond or that the new outdoor Walmart.com site is otherwise associated with or sponsored by Black Diamond.”
Moosejaw had a relationship with Black Diamond before it was bought out by Walmart in 2017.
The letter stated that Walmart must stop “its infringing use of several hundred copyrighted photographs, the rights to which belong exclusively to Black Diamond. We did not see or approve the statement that Walmart released Monday and have never sold to Walmart,” Black Diamond President John Walbrecht said in a statement. “Black Diamond remains committed to our specialty retail partners and we do not plan on deviating from this strategy.”
Walmart for its part has taken down all Black Diamond products and images. The products are still available through Moosejaw.
“[W]e would never activate a brand without their permission,” a Walmart spokesperson told Retail Dive in an email. “The decision to be part of this new experience will continue to be up to each brand, and our hope is that brands, and even other retailers, share our commitment to driving a truly inclusive outdoor industry,” the spokesperson said. “As we grow the Premium Outdoor Store, we will continue to look for leading brands and retailers that want to reach a new, wider audience.”
Walmart purchased Moosejaw a little over a year ago for $51 million in cash, which the brand said has helped scale its business. And Moosejaw brings to Walmart a demographic of outdoorsy and freely spending consumers that it doesn’t generally encounter.
But upscale brands like Black Diamond remain unsure if they want to be associated with Walmart, as it could potentially prove to be a problem for Walmart’s efforts to expand its user base.