Industry News 2/11/2011

B$Z: Burton Snowboards Cuts Ties with US Shops Suspected of Gray Marketing

Burton Snowboards Cuts Ties with US Shops Suspected of Gray Marketing

Burton Snowboards recently terminated dealer agreements with several US shops suspected of re-selling products through unauthorized channels. This move reflects Burton’s ongoing efforts to protect and support its global network of specialty retailers by aggressively combating gray marketing.
“I’ve said it many times, and I’ll say it again – I have absolutely no tolerance for gray marketing,” said Jake Burton, Founder and CEO of Burton Snowboards. “I don’t get why a snowboard shop in one part of the world has a right to shit on a local shop in another part of the world for short-term gains. I often think of it in the context of a Japanese dealer shipping product back to Walmart in the US. We want to build a global network of specialty retailers that cares about the sport, the brand, the product and each other. So we’re not afraid to end relationships with dealers that gray market anywhere in the world.” 
Cutting off suspected dealers is just a part of Burton’s latest efforts to hammer home the message that gray marketing will not be tolerated. A few months ago in mid-season, Burton took unprecedented action by cancelling millions of dollars in US orders that were most likely intended for the gray market in Japan. In addition to tightly monitoring orders and inventory, Burton is closely tracking product that ends up in the gray market and tracing it back to the source.
For the sake of all its retail partners around the world, Burton’s goal is to ultimately eliminate gray market activity. The company will continue to do whatever it takes to protect the long-term health of its global specialty dealer network.