Gucci has gone to federal court to protect its branded turf.
The Italian luxury brand’s Gucci America Inc. division filed three lawsuits in Manhattan Tuesday afternoon, seeking to protect itself from what it alleges were counterfeit goods sold at Sam’s Club and Lord & Taylor.
Mark that as the next battlefront for the Gucci brand, which has repeatedly been the target of counterfeiters and is active in defending itself.
“After an extensive investigation, Gucci confirms it has taken legal action against Lord & Taylor, Sam’s Club and Century 21 for their role in marketing and selling counterfeit Gucci products,” the brand said in a statement. “Gucci remains committed to protecting its customers from retailers profiting from the sale of counterfeit goods.”
In the Lord & Taylor suit, the brand said: “Each year, Gucci spends millions of dollars on advertising to promote the goods and services offered under the Gucci marks in the United States. As a result of Gucci’s efforts and the appeal of the Gucci brand, Gucci sells high quantities of consumer goods annually in the United States.”
Gucci is seeking injunctive and monetary relief in the suit, which alleges Lord & Taylor and other unidentified individuals infringed on the company’s trademark and engaged in unfair competition. A representative for Lord & Taylor did not immediately respond to a WWD query late Tuesday.
Lord & Taylor was among the retail brands to succumb to bankruptcy during the pandemic. It was bought by Saadia Group in 2020 and relaunched a website.
In the suit, Gucci alleged that Lord & Taylor and the other defendants “manufactured, advertised, offered for sale, sold, distributed, imported, and/or exported handbags bearing marks that are identical to or highly similar to the Gucci marks.”
This year, Gucci said it purchased several handbags from the Lord & Taylor website, including a red bag labeled as the “GG Marmont Matelassé Camera Bag” listed at $1,555, and a black bag referred to as the “GG Marmont Shoulder Bag” for $2,400.
“After purchase, Gucci examined the Counterfeit Products, and confirmed that they are non-genuine,” the suit said.
“In June 2023, Gucci notified defendants about the counterfeit products that are offered for sale on Lord & Taylor’s website,” the suit said. “Counsel for Lord & Taylor responded by admitting that it was aware that it was selling counterfeit products, but then failed to respond further to Gucci’s communications.”
In addition to an injunction, Gucci also asked the court to compel Lord & Taylor to turn over counterfeit goods for “impoundment and eventual destruction, without compensation.”
The suits against Sam’s Club and Century 21 made similar claims.
Gucci said in the Sam’s Club suit that it purchased “two handbags from Sam’s Club’s website bearing the Gucci marks: one black handbag, which was referred to as the ‘Gucci GG Marmont Matelassé Mini Bag in Black’ and had a listed price of $1,100 on Sam’s Club website, and one pink handbag, which was referred to as the ‘Gucci GG Marmont Matelassé Mini Bag in Dusty Pink’ and had a listed price of $1,100 on Sam’s Club’s website.”
Neither Sam’s Club or Century 21 immediately replied to WWD requests for comment.