We heard through the grapevine that Billabong got hit with a surprise this week. Current season T-shirts began appearing at Costco stores in Southern California for $11.99.
The company believes an international distributor cut a deal with Costco behind Billabong’s back.
Billabong reacted quickly and got executive authorization to buy back all the product, and spent Tuesday driving around Southern California purchasing stacks of T’s.
The T-shirts are reportedly on their way to Hawaii, too, and Billabong has reps on standby to buy those back.
VP of Sales Jason Shelton said it's pretty frustrating when Billabong has worked so hard to make the right distribution decisions to benefit the brand in the long term, such as being one of the only big brands to not sell to Macy’s in Hawaii to protect specialty retailers.
But he’s glad they found out about the problem quickly and were able to react.
No word yet on what Billabong will do to the international distributor who sold the product to Costco.