“The truth is that Amazon makes money with these fakes,” Birkenstock chief executive Oliver Reichert told German newspaper Spiegel News Weekly, according to the AFP. “As far we’re concerned, Amazon is an accomplice.”
“If you sell dodgy merchandise on your market place, you have to answer for that,” added Reichert.
Reichert’s comments come on the heels of Birkenstock’s announcement earlier this month that it would halt direct deliveries on Amazon in Europe beginning Jan. 1.
The German-based shoemaker has lodged a series of complaints against Amazon in the past. Birkenstock specifically alleged that the e-tailer allowed a series of sales on its site which violated Birkenstock trademark rights — the brand has a trademark on its cork-soled sandals — and misled consumers.
Birkenstock Americas CEO David Kahan has been vocal about his frustrations with Amazon previously. Kahan severed ties with the e-tailer in January 2017, pulling the direct sale of Birkenstock products — as well as all sales from third parties — on the site in the United States. And Kahan’s concerns rose following news in July that Amazon would buy products from third parties at full price and sell them on the site.
“This is modern day piracy on the high seas,” Kahan said then in an e-mail. “How can a major retailer who is not a vendor’s partner solicit and entice authorized partners to sell them via a back-channel?”
Despite its tense relationship with Amazon, Birkenstock continues to do well. The company was recognized at the Footwear News Achievement Awards as Brand of the Year, and it has developed a loyal fanbase.