Perfume, Poe, parallel

No prize to the first person to figure out why Yves Rocher (France) might not be particularly thrilled that the following product of theirs was being sold in the Carrer Ferran Yves Rocher franchise:

Yves Rocher, Mexico
This is a gross over-simplification. There’s an interesting pharma-oriented summary here, and here‘s an article by a lawyer from a local firm, Mullerat, dealing with the Spanish situation.

Yep, parallel imports, with goods produced in France, sold to Mexico for low prices on the understanding that they will be retailed in that market, and then resold to Spain. This is good for this individual retailer and for his customers, but bad for competitors who buy direct from France and – allegedly – for the brand owner.

One of the reasons why trademark-based prosecutions of parallel/grey imports tend to fail in Europe is that no consensus exists as to their long-term economic implications. What will probably happen to the shop in question is that it will lose its franchise and the manufacturer and its contacts will ensure that supplies dry up, at which point the owner will end the lease and move on to his next operation.

The interesting thing about this is that it provides indirect evidence of the changing status of Spain within the EU. Spain was traditionally, in EU terms, a land of origin for parallel imports because brands were typically cheaper than in wealthier parts of Europe. But production costs and incomes have crept up, and that’s why it’s worth carting highly-priced, little bottles of smelly stuff all the way to Mexico and back.

It is (not at all) interesting that the Mexican importer gives Edgar Allan Poe 327 in Chapultepec Polanco as his address. Poe was quite good on parallels of various kinds but never really did anything exciting with perfume.

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