Birkenstock CEO Lashes Out on Amazon
Birkenstock's CEO had a few choice words for Amazon.com. The Washington Post reports David Kahan, CEO of Birkenstock USA, sent a five-page email to the brand's retail partners about the online behemoth contacting shop owners and offering to purchase their products at full price. In the email, Kahan called the entreaty a "desperate act" and a "personal affront." Last year, Birkenstock pulled its products from Amazon due to a rise in counterfeit goods being sold on the online marketplace. Kahan added that he's considering legal action against Amazon for “knowingly encouraging a breach of our policy.”
Total Retail's Take: It seems Kahan has become an unlikely spokesman for smaller retailers against ever-growing Amazon.com. Birkenstock has openly railed against Amazon's sometime questionable practices when it comes to the merchandise sold on its platform, including how products are procured as well as concerns over counterfeit goods. The looming presence of Amazon is only getting larger, however, and smaller brands are being forced to decide whether to sell their products on the marketplace. Amazon has ramped up its efforts to stock its site with third-party goods, recently announcing that Nike and Sears’ Kenmore products are now available on the online marketplace.