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Trek investigating how Sam's Club got its bikes

Published April 26, 2016
Updated: Sam's Club says the bikes were sourced from legitimate channels.

WATERLOO, Wis. (BRAIN) — A Trek spokesman said the company was "just as surprised as anybody else" to see its mountain bikes on the Sam's Club website recently. A Sam's Club spokesperson said the bikes were sourced from legitimate channels.

The Walmart-owned membership warehouse retailer listed some men's and women's Trek mountain bikes on its site, selling to members for $319.78, available online only. As of Tuesday, the site still listed the bikes but they were marked as sold out. 

Trek's Eric Bjorling told BRAIN, "(Sam's Club) did not acquire them from Trek directly.  Presently, we are looking into how the bikes were acquired and will make a decision on next steps based on our findings. Trek has no plans to sell bikes at Sam’s Club or any other big box retailer."

The bikes listed were Trek Skye 26 women's bikes and 3500 men's models. The listing included 18 questions from consumers, most asking about the bikes' frame sizes. None of the questions were answered. Each model sells for $439.99 on Trek's website.

Bjorling noted that other IBD-exclusive brands have discovered their bikes at warehouse clubs in the past. Indeed, Giro, Cannondale and Burley are among the brand that have found their products in Costco warehouse clubs in recent years, although BRAIN has not previously reported on IBD bikes being sold at Sam's. In most cases, the vendors said Costco obtained the products on the gray market, such as via an international distributor or other third party. In 2012, Cannondale cut off a distributor that it said was supplying Costco. 

Dianna Gee, a Sam's Club spokesperson, said, “We work diligently to bring our members amazing values on genuine high-end brands. In most instances we work directly with brands who want to reach our members with their products, and sometimes we work with established dealers and distributors. Both means are common practice in the retail and warehouse club industries," Gee said. "The Trek bikes were sourced from legitimate channels and were offered as a special online deal as a part of our Shocking Values program.” 

In 2014, the jewelry brand David Yurman sued Sam's Club for trademark infringement and other charges, alleging that Sam's Club bought Yurman products from authorized retailers and resold them at its stores. The suit was settled last August for undisclosed terms. 


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