Major brands pull away from Walmart/Moosejaw

Discussion in 'Hardgoods: Skis, Bindings, Poles, and More' started by Tricia, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Earlier this summer, Walmart announced a plan to launch a premium online outdoor retail presence with its Moosejaw face.
    After hearing from several other retailers, several brands including Leki, Thermarest and Black Diamond have cancelled orders with Walmart and are pulling away from their relationship.

    Walmart launched the online presence on August 27th.

    Black Diamond Equipment sent a cease and desist notice on August 28th, to Walmart, in response to the giant retailer's launch.

    This from the Black Diamond press release.
    Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd., a global leader of innovative active outdoor performance equipment and apparel, today sent Walmart a cease and desist notice in response to news Monday announcing the launch of a new outdoor website on Walmart.com curated by Moosejaw. The letter directed Walmart to cease and desist from use of the Black Diamond® and diamond logo trademarks in a manner likely to confuse consumers into believing that Walmart is an authorized dealer of Black Diamond or that the new outdoor Walmart.com site is otherwise associated with or sponsored by Black Diamond. The letter also demanded that Walmart cease its infringing use of several hundred copyrighted photographs, the rights to which belong exclusively to Black Diamond.

    “We did not see or approve the statement which Walmart released Monday and have never sold to Walmart,” stated John Walbrecht, Black Diamond’s president. “Black Diamond remains committed to our specialty retail partners and we do not plan on deviating from this strategy.”

    Moosejaw, a Michigan based retailer with ten stores and online presence was purchased by Walmart in February of 2017. Black Diamond has worked with Moosejaw for over 10 years.
     
  2. Ron

    Ron AKA Finndog Pugski Ski Tester

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    Interesting. I didn’t know Wally World had purchased Moosejaw. Do you know why these brands don’t want to be associated with Walmart?
     
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  3. Jilly

    Jilly Lead Cougar Skier

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    After seeing what happened to a couple of major Canadian products when Sportchek got a hold of them, I'd be pulling out of Walmart too!

    Sun Ice was once a premier ski clothing line in Canada. They had to cheapen their product so much to keep in the Sportchek world that no one would buy it. Pedigree and White Stag too. I'm seeing some of it with Columbia now.

    Sportchek is owned by the Forzani group, which was purchased by Canadian Tire Corp a couple of years ago. So up there with Walmart.
     
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  4. coskigirl

    coskigirl Making fresh tracks Skier

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    I also had no idea that Moosejaw had been purchased by Walmart. My guess is the brands do not want to be associated with a discount retailer, especially one with the polarized reputation that Walmart has. I would love to see the terms of the agreements between the brands and Moosejaw. I would think that Walmart lawyers would be looking carefully to ensure it has the right to use the trademarks via those agreements so it'll be interesting to see how this plays out.
     
  5. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Moosejaw was bought by Walmart in February 2017
    Walmart Announces the Acquisition of Moosejaw, a Leading Online ...

    Originally I thought they were pulling because they felt that a presence in Walmart would cheapen their brand image.
    Press releases from different brands elude to supporting their smaller trusted retailers. I'm wondering if there was some backlash from smaller retailers.

    From Thermarest:
    We remain nimble to change and pivot our course of business for our brand’s greatest success with fans, consumers, and trusted retail partners; hence our decision to move away from Walmart’s Outdoor Store.

    From Deuter USA:
    While we appreciate the concept of what Moosejaw is trying to accomplish with this new initiative, we have decided this is not the right time to participate
     
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  6. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two wheels. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    If we don't study history, we are doomed to repeat it. This is not the first time ski brands were brought under larger umbrellas yet left out get wet and get close to being drowned. It happened with Hart (Beatrice), Head (AMF), Nordica (Benneton) and recently K2 (Jarden). There is a reason that there are specialty retailers for products and I can see these why these brands want to contol or at least have a say in how their brand is represented.
     
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  7. Tom K.

    Tom K. HRPufnStf Skier

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    That's the story right there, no matter what folderol is trotted out to support the decision.

    Brand image is HYPER-critical to some of these companies, and they are going to protect it.
     
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  8. coskigirl

    coskigirl Making fresh tracks Skier

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    I don't think supporting their smaller retailers and avoiding cheapening their brands are mutually exclusive.
     
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  9. Ron

    Ron AKA Finndog Pugski Ski Tester

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    good stuff here: My first thought was the concern over the adaptation of their brand image to being walmart-tized and having them start to demand cheaper product by cutting corners as not only Wlamart but big box stores like Home Cheapo and lowes. I am happy to see them (in part) sticking up for the little guys.
     
  10. jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    I would guess that there is also some concern by these companies that the people selling their product understand their product and it's use. A lot of the gear that companies like Black Diamond sell is very specialized and its correct use is the difference between life and death.

    The idea of some never-evers buying climbing equipment at Walmart, misusing the equipment and causing their injury/death is horrifying to me.
     
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  11. KingGrump

    KingGrump Most Interesting Man In The World Team Gathermeister

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    Not as horrifying as the the hoards of lawyers that follow.
     
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  12. David Chaus

    David Chaus Chain saw and wood chipper (kilt optional) Skier

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    Hmmm...I used to work for a Bernina dealership. As you may or may not know, Bernina is a Swiss high-end sewing machine company, and protecting their dealer network was crucial to their reputation and success. Wall Mart wanted to carry their products, which would have seriously undercut their dealers. The one thing that kept them from selling product to Wall Mart was their stipulation that face-face lessons on the use of the machine be offered with every sale. Some companies really do care that their products are represented and sold by informed, trained sales people.
     
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  13. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

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    So ... no one in this thread is buying Walmart's argument that they are the de-facto Amazon alternative for online ordering?

    There are no safeguards for Amazon purchasers either.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
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  14. oswaldr2

    oswaldr2 Putting on skis Skier

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    This to me seems like a bunch of fuss over nothing. If you didn't know Moosejaw was purchased by Wal-Mart, you'd still see their site and purchase as-is for your discounted Black Diamond gear from 2016 for 40% off. Is the issue that Walmart.com is now going to sell it? Because to me, moosejaw.com is still up and running and looks the same.

    I get the idea that you may not want to support wal-mart as a reason to pull out. But how does still selling on Moosejaw.com change anything for Black diamond to their brand?
     
  15. David Chaus

    David Chaus Chain saw and wood chipper (kilt optional) Skier

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    I’m not clear on this, are they pulling out of Moosejaw?
     
  16. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister--Big Sky Team Gathermeister

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  17. coskigirl

    coskigirl Making fresh tracks Skier

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    Yes. My guess is that the brands' agreements with Moosejaw pre-date the Wal-mart purchase of Moosejaw. It's hard to say whether the brands would have reached the same agreement or even come to one with Moosejaw with Wal-mart as their owner.
     
  18. Tom K.

    Tom K. HRPufnStf Skier

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    Uncertain on pulling out of Moosejaw, but they HAVE decided to leave Frostbite Falls.

    J/K. Carry on!
     
  19. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    Protecting their dealer network.
    I remember when Sportcheck was selling the exact same model of ski as the local ski shops, but at much reduced profit margins. The local ski shops could not compete. They were understandably very upset. Some stopped carrying the offending products. I also recall for a time the skis in sportcheck had different model names, however if I'm not mistaken some major brand skis and models can still be found in sportcheck. I don't know how the issue was resolved, or how it is now (MAP agreements maybe?).
     
  20. oswaldr2

    oswaldr2 Putting on skis Skier

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    I don't even think this site has any gear listed. Try going to that website and searching for items, I put "ski coat" and "soft shell" into searches, very little gear comes up. Soft Shell tacos came up though!
     

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