CamelBak has made public that the company is investigating how a small quantity of CamelBak M.U.L.E. models turned up for sale on the Costco website. The unauthorized sale was spotted by CamelBak employees.
Costco is not an authorized CamelBak dealer, said Layne Rigney, CamelBak's director of sales for domestic recreation. "We keep a close eye on unauthorized distribution, but it can be tough to stop. The good news is that it looks like Costco has limited quantities of our product and what they have is only available online. We are determining how the product was diverted to Costco and we will stop it."
SNEWSÂ® View: Good for CamelBak! We might suggest that if the company really wants to step up to the plate, it would simply buy back all the M.U.L.E. packs and remove them immediately from the pipeline -- as some other outdoor industry companies have done in the past. Don't expect Costco to be of any help. Last time SNEWSÂ® investigated product being sold outside of distribution agreements at Costco stores (click here to read story), we talked directly to one of the company buyers who essentially told us she would buy any product that her customers wanted even if Costco was not an authorized dealer of that product (she's still miffed we managed to obtain her phone number). That buyer informed us in no uncertain terms that Costco didn't care one bit about distribution agreements, and that a Costco buyer's sole mission was to obtain quality product to sell to its customers, by any means possible. When we told her that quite a few outdoor industry companies would shut down any retailer caught diverting product to Costco, she told us Costco didn't care because the minute one retailer was shut down, a Costco buyer would simply find another one all too willing to sell to them. Sure makes one feel all warm and fuzzy, don't it though?