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The New York City police department conducted a raid right before Christmas in the Garment District, and ended up seizing more than $12 million worth of counterfeit brand name apparel, including The North Face and Timberland.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg characterized the raid as one of the largest counterfeit apparel seizures in NYPD history. The counterfeit products were being stored in a Manhattan warehouse.
Steve Rendle, president of TNF, told SNEWSÂ® that over 30,000 units of counterfeit TNF product was recovered, bringing the total amount of counterfeit products seized in New York this fall to approximately 35,000 units.
Though the numbers were a little less impressive from the Timberland front — 62 pieces of Timberland apparel, 55 pairs of Timberland boots recovered — Ken Pucker, COO of Timberland, stated it is the message that is conveyed that is important.
“The Timberland Company commends the Mayor’s office and the New York City Police Department for their diligence in uncovering these counterfeit operations. Consumers should have confidence that the products they are buying live up to the promise of the brand,” he said.
“In our case, that means authentic boots and clothes that are made with the premium materials and quality craftsmanship people have come to expect from Timberland,” added Pucker. “In addition, we want our legitimate retail partners to know that we are supporting every effort being made to remove counterfeit product from the market.”
SNEWSÂ® View: Thirty-five thousand units of counterfeit goods off the market means that much more authentic TNF product being sold by authorized TNF dealers — and that is nothing but good news for everyone involved, except the counterfeiters naturally. Ditto for the number of Timberland goods also captured. Counterfeiting has become more than a mild headache for recognized brands in our industry. It has become a source of revenue loss and brand equity dilution and the Internet sure hasn’t helped. Where once the realm of counterfeit sales were limited to streets and back corners of parking lots, now the perpetrators have websites and even storefronts making counterfeit sales a global challenge.