Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Lacoste knock-offs are much cheaper than the real thing and during rough economic times, the consumer is going to go with a deal. This is what the people who are creating knock-off's of designer labels are counting on today. This is becoming a common practice, but it is illegal and if caught, the counterfeit goods are confiscated. This is what happened yesterday in a store in Florida. All the employees could do was watch as the fake inventory went out the door in the hands of the authorities. Selling forgery is a second-degree felony.
The Shoe fashion store in St. Petersburg was selling numerous counterfeit merchandise with labels of Lacoste, Nike and Coach, along with many more name brand reproductions. The clothing which may set you back a good chunk of your weekly paycheck normally, was selling at prices most anyone could afford.
While they look the same, fit the same and most importantly give off the same aura of the status symbol of the real merchandise, these fake recreations are big sellers. The reason for this is very clear when you look at the price tags. The store which was raided, Shoe Fashion, sells knock-off's of Nike sneakers at the cost of $20 dollars a pair or three pairs for $50 dollars. This is a gigantic savings over the real deal, as a pair of Nike Jordan sneakers sells for $125, a pair of Nike Air Max for $100, and a pair of Nike Air Force 1 for $80,according to Tampa Bay Online. The counterfeit sneakers are so well copied, that you cannot tell the difference.
An undercover investigation was launched after the police got numerous tips that these knock-off's were being sold at this store. The investigators sifted through the merchandise at the store and collected well over $100,000 worth of merchandise. The owner of the store, Alam Shikdar, was not on the premises at the time of the raid and at present no one has been charged.
Mike Puetz, a police spokesman said, "This type of crime a lot of people tend to look at as a victimless crime. To buy a pair of knockoff sunglasses, a lot of people don't think of the ramifications of that." This store is certainly not the only place that these counterfeit fashion label merchandise are offered. Police said that the merchandise was most likely produced outside the country. Police commented that the product was made to look authentic, but being sold for far less than the real thing.
"We want to send a message out to all the individuals out there that might be inclined to think of this as a way to make a profit not to do this type of thing," Puetz said. "Go through a legitimate manufacturer for their product."
The investigators took the merchandise that fell into the parameters of their search warrant and left the rest of the merchandise on the premises. The store was not closed down.