Black Diamond Orders Walmart to Cease and Desist
Yesterday, the big-box retailer launched a new gear site with Black Diamond as one of its featured brands, allegedly without permission
One day after Walmart announced the launch of a new Premium Outdoor Store, Black Diamond has issued a cease and desist order, demanding that the big-box retailer remove all Black Diamond trademarks, logos, and copyrighted product photos from its website.
The climbing- and ski-gear maker says Walmart’s use of brand logos and product images were “likely to confuse consumers into believing that Walmart is an authorized dealer of Black Diamond or that the new outdoor Walmart.com site is otherwise associated with or sponsored by Black Diamond.” In fact, Black Diamond says it has never sold through Walmart, never signed a dealer agreement with Walmart, and has no plans to sell through Walmart in the future.
In a press release Black Diamond claims it had no knowledge of Walmart’s new online gear platform until it launched yesterday, with Black Diamond headlamps and climbing gear listed among the curated offerings for sale. “We did not see or approve the statement which Walmart released Monday,” John Walbrecht, Black Diamond’s president, said. “Black Diamond remains committed to our specialty retail partners and we do not plan on deviating from this strategy.”
Black Diamond has sold through e-retailer Moosejaw for ten years. But Moosejaw was purchased by Walmart in 2017, and worked with Walmart to launch the new premium gear shop online, selling a collection of items from high-end outdoor brands including Therm-a-Rest, Pacsafe, Deuter, Danner, Klymit, and, of course, Black Diamond. To Outside's knowledge, no other brands have ordered Walmart to remove their gear from its new site.
Walmart would not comment on the details of the conflict with Black Diamond. “I can only tell you we would never activate a brand without their permission,” a corporate spokesperson told Outside.
“The decision to be part of this new experience will continue to be up to each brand, and our hope is that brands, and even other retailers, share our commitment to driving a truly inclusive outdoor industry,” the spokesperson said. “As we grow the Premium Outdoor Store, we will continue to look for leading brands and retailers that want to reach a new, wider audience.”
At the time of publication, several Black Diamond headlamps were still listed on Walmart's gear site, though they were listed as out of stock.