Recently the discount warehouse chain Costco got something from Tiffany for Valentine’s Day: in the form of a lawsuit which claims that it sold diamond engagement rings falsely marketed in stores using the jeweler’s name.
The lawsuit, filed on Thursday in Federal District Court in Manhattan, says a shopper complained to Tiffany late last year “that she was disappointed to observe that Costco was offering for sale what were promoted on in-store signs as Tiffany diamond engagement rings.”
After some investigation into the matter, the lawsuit affirmed that Tiffany investigators found that Costco sales personnel were referring to the rings as “Tiffany rings'”. The suit says, “Tiffany has never sold nor would it ever sell its fine jewelry through an off-price warehouse retailer like Costco.”
As a result, the suit says, there are “hundreds if not thousands of people who mistakenly believe they purchased and own a Tiffany engagement ring from Costco.”
Costco public relations personnel said it had no comment.
The lawsuit says Costco stopped marketing Tiffany rings after the jeweler approached it last year.
Tiffany asked for all profits made from selling the rings, and for damages that take into account the value of the Tiffany brand in bolstering Costco’s business and gilding a move by the retailer to sell discounted luxury goods.
Luxury brands as a common practice, often sue in order to preserve their stature and prevent imitators. Prior to the Tiffany scandal, Costco took a previous fight with the Swatch Group all the way to the he United States Supreme Court over the right to sell Omega watches.
Although this is not the first time nor the last time that a company such as Costco will commit such a grave error, it is somewhat common practice in this industry for imitators to go through such lengths.
As always, Live, Life, Lamour