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The Other Shoe Drops: Adidas, Nike and Asics Ban eBay and Amazon
July 12, 2012
For marketers these days, it's all about digital and taking advantage of all it has to offer. Adidas, though, is pulling its wares off two of the web's major e-commerce hubs — Amazon and eBay — because it's convinced such sites are cheapening its image and damaging its brand value. According to the UK's Marketing Week, the ban goes into effect in January and will extend to its Reebok brand.
Adidas, on a high coming out of Euro 2012 and heading into the Olympics, isn't the only major brand that's pulling back on e-commerce sites — Nike and Asics are also restricting Internet sales, a move that has drawn the attention of German competition authorities. "Adidas isn't the first, and they're definitely not going to be the last to do what they did," said Wes Shepherd, CEO of Channel IQ, an online services provider catering to manufacturers, distributors and retailers, according to AuctionBytes.com. "There's a storm brewing here."
Some of the reasons to steer clear of digital sales, the site notes, is the "downward pressure on pricing levels and worries over knock-off merchandise." Shepherd says that the categories that are most concerned about online sales sites include luxury goods, apparel, footwear and consumer electronics.
"We want to ensure our products with a performance element are sold only by specialist retailers with the necessary training and knowledge," Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer reportedly said last month. "We get lots of cases where people say 'your shoes didn't make me faster'. We removed Ebay and Amazon from our network because we want our products to be sold by experts."
Meanwhile, Adidas is celebrating a big win in a trademark case in Indonesia against Zul Achyar Bustaman, who was manufacturing a shoe with four stripes on them that looked remarkably similar to the three-stripe symbol Adidas has trademarked in a number of countries.