JAPAN: Fake Brands Find Way Into National Retail Outlets
The discovery comes after clothes tagged as brand-name goods at Jusco Co, a Chiba-based supermarket chain operator, were found to be fake.
Ten retailers nationwide, including Tokyo-based discount retailer Olympic Corp, have complained that some of the clothes shipped to them as brand-name products were fakes.
According to industry sources, the 10 retailers have said that they will reimburse customers who return fake brand-name clothes.
In September, Nagano prefectural police arrested a retailer in Tokyo on suspicion of violating the Trademark Law for selling fake branded products. Police are also investigating a wholesaler, who allegedly supplied the fake clothing to the arrested retailer and Jusco.
In late June, Daiei commissioned the Association for Auto-Control of Distribution, a private organisation that checks for illegal and fake products, to inspect its clothing. The inspection revealed that some items, such as Ralph Lauren Polo shirts, were fakes, and Daiei removed them from its outlets.
After receiving an inquiry from the Nagano prefectural police, Jusco also asked the association to inspect its brand-name clothing in July and found that some items were bogus. Daiei has said that it will take back clothing suspected of being fake bought at its 124 outlets across the country.
Olympic has also called on its customers to return about 14,000 items believed to be fake Ralph Lauren and Lacoste garments.
According to the association, the suspect clothing was imported through wholesalers who buy clothing from stores in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia that sell brand products directly from manufacturers. The fake products were sold to the retailers at about 60 percent of the usual wholesale price for authentic brand-name items, the association said.
The trademark designs and buttons on the fake items are different from those on the real ones and their materials and stitching are of lower quality than that of authentic products.
The association said the large amount of cheap fake products that are imported through a parallel route to Japan are driving out their authentic counterparts imported to Japan by the same method. Manufacturers have claimed that 90 per cent of parallel clothing imports to Japan is fake, according to the association.
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