Walpole welcomes the judgment regarding the selective distribution of luxury products

In a landmark judgment by the European Court of Justice, it was today announced that luxury good producers have the right to block retailers from selling products on online marketplaces which do not preserve the ethos and quality of luxury products. As a founding member of the European Cultural and Creative Industries Alliance (ECCIA), Walpole has been working with its sister organisations across Europe to ensure that the validity of the luxury distribution models is recognised and upheld.

Press release

The European Cultural and Creative Industries Alliance (ECCIA) welcomes the judgment given by the Court of Justice of the European Union on Case C-230/16 (Coty Germany GmbH v Parfümerie Akzente GmbH) regarding the validity and appropriateness of selective distribution for luxury products.

The judgment which is consistent with constant EU case-law clearly states that the quality of luxury goods is not simply the result of their material characteristics, but also of the allure and prestigious image which bestows on them an aura of luxury. Consequently, the use of selective distribution systems in order to preserve the image and prestige of luxury brands is compatible with the current competition regulations when it is applied on the basis of objective criteria.

The Court confirms the freedom of the lead company of a selective distribution network to organise its network according to these criteria and to impose a prohibition on the use, in a discernible manner, of third-party undertakings for internet sales.

Michael Ward, Chairman Walpole stated that:As founding members of the ECCIA we welcome the judgment today as it provides further clarity as to the legitimacy of our distribution model.”

“The judgement recognises the importance of our business practices where they are necessary to preserve the luxury image of our goods and in line with the existing regulations on vertical restraints and related guidelines. It recognises the distribution strategy of luxury brands which offer a true omnichannel experience in keeping with the quality of our products and the highest standards of service expected by our customers.”

About ECCIA

The European Cultural and Creative Industries Alliance (ECCIA) is composed of five European cultural and creative industries organisations: Altagamma (Italy), Circulo Fortuny (Spain), Comité Colbert (France), Meisterkreis (Germany) and Walpole (UK), who between them represent over 400 brands and cultural institutions.

Based on art, culture and creativity, our work is underpinned by continuous innovation, a relentless focus on quality, highly skilled employment and strong export abroad. Our members strive for the highest quality in all they do, from products and services all the way to the experience offered to consumers.

Contact

For any further information, please contact Charlotte Keesing, Director, Public Affairs & International, Walpole.