Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 13, 2010 12:35 PM
While much of the blame falls on China for producing and selling counterfeit goods, it's rampant and widespread. Despite actions taken by such luxury brands as Christian Louboutin, Louis Vuitton, and Versace, knock-offs of brand name luxury goods continue to be sold openly on street corners in major cities around the world.
Take Malaysia, for example. In Bukit Bintang, the well-known shopping district of the capital city, Kuala Lumpur, vendors at temporary stalls hawk fakes of such brands as Chanel, Burberry, and Gucci. Faux branded jackets, perfumes, wallets, watches, and other merchandise is available at a fraction of the cost of the real thing.
One vendor told a reporter for The Star, Malaysia's English language newspaper, that the Burberry bag he was selling was "a real copy of the original. I can sell you this bag for RM120. The original prices is between RM900 and RM1,000." Another vendor said "there was no way an average-income person could buy an original brand in the open market" so he was selling t-shirts that were knock-offs of the Lacoste and Polo brands.
A government official, when told of the practice, said, "Licenses issued by City Hall should not be misused for selling imitation goods. In this case, the image of Bukit Bingang is also tarnished." It remains to be seen if the Bukit Bingang area will be cleared of the vendors, however.
Then again, maybe they should be left alone. A recent study funded by the European Union suggests that counterfeit brands may actually promote the brands they're trying to copy. Hmmm, so how much was that watch?