Few dads and tropical tourists look as fetching in any piece of footwear as they do in Birkenstocks, and the company is well aware of the brand image it’s acquired. So aware, in fact, that it’s willing to go to drastic lengths to protect unauthorized reproductions diluting its good name.
CNBC is reporting that Birkenstock USA CEO David Kahan has circulated a memo internally and to its retail partners that it will be pulling its supply of products from Amazon on Jan. 1. This comes in response to what Kahan and Birkenstock claim are rampant counterfeit sandals listed for sale on the site, and despite working with Amazon to try and get a lid on the problem, Birkenstock is instead putting its open-toed foot down.
“The Amazon marketplace, which operates as an ‘open market,’ creates an environment where we experience unacceptable business practices, which we believe jeopardize our brand,” Kahan reportedly wrote in the note. “Policing this activity internally and in partnership with Amazon.com has proven impossible.”
Kahan took things a step further, too. While it has already committed to pulling out of Amazon, it also delivered stern warnings to its thousands of other retail partners that it would be poring over their practices to make sure they’re listing their products without the threat of counterfeits.
“We will be vigilant in handing any retail partners who choose not to comply after Jan. 1, 2017,” Kahan said.