Bunnings and Weber-Stephen Products are embroiled in a legal dispute, after the DIY store was discovered to be selling Weber One-Touch Kettle BBQs which it has parallel imported.
Weber was able to spot that the BBQs are parallel imports as they do not have any of the “Australian features” of the Weber BBQs sold in Australia.
The BBQs sold by Bunnings do not include the hinged cooking grill, grate and charcoal basket, aluminium drip trays, a handbook and cookbook which are usually sold as part of the product in Australia.
The BBQs do not come with Weber’s guarantee and cannot be registered using the Weber BBQ registration system.
They are being sold by Bunnings for $199, which is about two-thirds of the genuine price of the Weber One-Touch Kettle BBQs.
The BBQs include a sticker which says “importation and sale by Bunnings not approved by Weber”, which makes it clear Bunnings is not the authorised distributor and the products have been parallel imported.
Weber is suing Bunnings in the Federal Court on the basis that the retailer is engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct by selling the BBQs.
Weber’s claims Bunnings’ conduct is likely to harm the reputation and goodwill of Weber.
The case is before Justice Marshall and Corrs Chambers Westgarth is representing Weber while Freehills is representing Bunnings.
A statement of claim and defence have been filed and at the most recent directions hearing on August 31 Justice Marshall set down a trial date of June next year.
A spokesperson for Bunnings told SmartCompany the retailer could not comment on the legal proceedings.
John Gillam, managing director for Bunnings, said in a statement that stocking the Weber One-Touch Kettle BBQs direct from the United States was part of the retailer’s commitment to sourcing new products which were “better offers”.
“Bunnings has been committed to offering customers the widest range of leading brands at the lowest prices for more than a decade,” he said.
“As part of our commitment to continuous innovation, we are constantly sourcing new products and we actively seek opportunities to provide a better offer for our customers.
“As such, we have introduced Weber One Touch barbecues into our stores”.