Could we be seeing an eBay store on Avenue Montaigne, Fifth Avenue, Castlereagh or Collins Street anytime soon? According to an article in The Associated Press "The European Commission is currently weighing changes to rules that currently give luxury goods the right to choose who distributes their products. It appears to support the luxury industry by suggesting suppliers could require online retailers to sell a certain amount of goods in an actual, bricks-and-mortar store."
Naturally eBay is not at all happy with the thought of this and argues that it prevents online sales of legitimate products across Europe and in the end the customer pays more. However, we feel this will be a tough stance for eBay given LVMH successfully sued the online retailer last year and was awarded $61 million euro's for their effort because counterfeit products were distributed on eBay.
It appears eBay have set their own precedent. And due to similar counterfeit issues highlighted by Tiffany & Co. amongst others, in the recent past, the concern of the luxury houses is one of control, when it is outside of their owned and managed environments. But then again, what does the customer want? No doubt there is more to this debate and we will keep you posted as we learn more of where the European Commission settles on this subject.