Fighting the Grey Market

The grey market is a constantly growing problem affecting many sectors and many product categories, including fragrances and cosmetics, watches and jewellery, bags, leather goods, photographic equipment, giftware in general and even wines and spirits.

Research in the USA has shown that this market is worth more than 6.3 billion dollars in the cosmetics industry alone. The grey market involves products that are sold through distribution channels not authorised by the producer, causing reputational damage for the brand in relation to customers and undermining the producer company’s control over its official dealer network.

What’s more, products sold on the grey market may be counterfeited or unauthentic and contain unauthorised or potentially hazardous ingredients; they may have passed their sell-by date or not have been stored at the right temperatures In addition, with regard to responsibility, if the dealer is not authorised, the producer cannot be held liable for the product’s quality, meaning fewer safeguards for the consumer.

The grey market can be combated by tracing every single garment from production to logistics and from logistics to the authorised points of sale, and checking that goods are in the right distribution channel.

Our clients want to be able to track the “channel” of products on sale on various markets as a way of fighting the grey market. They need a simple, effective solution, able to correlate every single unit of product to a shipment and the relative consignee and to check compliance with the agreements entered into with partners throughout the supply chain at any time.

The solution has only minimal impact on the logistics flows of the companies that handle order fulfilment and delivery to consignees.