Is Wal-Mart Imitating Art?
There are many metaphors for happiness and true love, but perhaps none as trendy as a Fendi bag.
On an episode of Sex and the City set in L.A., the sexual gourmand Samantha boasts of finding a fabulous fake Fendi, everywoman Carrie goes hunting for the perfect knockoff but ultimately decides that faux won't do, and aspirational Charlotte reveals the truth about her sexless honeymoon by bursting out with the memorable line, "My marriage is a fake Fendi!" Ultimately Samantha gets SATC foursome thrown out of her idea of paradise -- the Playboy mansion -- by accusing one of the "bunnies" of stealing the bag.
As it turns out, Samantha may have been able to stay home and go to Wal-Mart.
Today Fendi, a division of LVMH, filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart, alleging that the giant retailer has passed off counterfeit Fendi handbags and other products as genuine. According to the complaint, Wal-Mart has never purchased products directly from Fendi nor sought to acertain the legitimacy of the trademarked items. In one instance, a Wal-Mart Sam's Club store in Miami allegedly sold a black, logoed "Fendi" bag, retail price $930, for $508.25 -- a nice discount, but not a price low enough to make a consumer realize that she's not necessarily buying the real thing.
Who knew that Sam Walton was a SATC fan?
P.S. Are large, international retail chains the new battlegrounds in the anticounterfeiting crusades? This isn't the first time that a division of LVMH has alleged that shady merchandise is for sale in otherwise well-lit venues.