Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)’s reputation as a seller of authentic products online is, pun intended, on the line having attracted immense criticism from Cartier. The maker of pricey jewelry has taken aim at the retailer for selling its $18,000 diamond watch without permission.
Cartier has denounced the nation’s largest retailer as an authorized dealer for the diamond watch even though it does not take possession of items sold in the store. It is still unclear why Cartier did not take up the matter with Jewelry Unlimited, as it is the one that was selling the watch on Walmart.com.
In a statement, the developer of the pricey watches says it cannot vouch for the authenticity of the $18,000 diamond watches that Walmart is currently selling.
“Wal-Mart is not a Cartier authorized retailer, therefore, Cartier has no knowledge or involvement in the selling or marketing of this watch nor can confirm the authenticity of the piece,” Cartier in a statement.
Cartier reacting the way it did on its products being sold on Walmart does not come as a surprise. The company is a unit of Swiss luxury Conglomerate Le Richemond both of which are known to go to great lengths to protect their luxury aura. Some of the tactics they deploy to protect their brand include selling products through authorized channels only.
Walmart’s Growing E-commerce Portfolio
Controlled distribution channels according to the company help avert the risk of faulty or even fake items being sold with the Cartier brand name. The company has always been aggressive in protecting its brand having already sued Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) for offering its products without permission. It now waits to be seen if the same fate will befall Walmart.
Even with the tussle, Walmart is aggressively expanding its online store, which is currently offering over 20 million products up from 8 million as of the start of the year. This has mostly been made possible by the company’s reliance on third-party sellers. However, it may have to up its game in scrutinizing the kind of products on sale in it’s the store if it is to avoid similar standoff with Cartier in future.
Walmart stock was down by 0.06% in Monday trading session closing the day at $71.19 a share.