Estée Lauder has taken legal action against fashion retailer Target accusing it of selling counterfeit cosmetics in its stores in Australia under the MAC Cosmetics brand.
In Australia, the authorised retailers for MAC are its freestanding stores, www.maccosmetics.com.au, MAC Pro stores as well as department stores Myer and David Jones, and Estée Lauder has taken legal action in order to protect its brands and distributors.
A statement on the company website said: "Target Australia is not an authorised retailer of MAC Cosmetics and we did not supply any MAC products to Target Australia.”
"We urge our customers to shop at our authorized retailers to ensure the MAC Cosmetics products they buy are authentic and meet the quality and safety standards that we promise."
The US-based brand confirmed its commitment to the quality of its products stating it took this matter ‘very seriously’.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission are said to be looking into the matter, although Target insists it is yet to be contacted, and has defended its case, taking to its Facebook page to reassure consumers.
“Target believes the MAC product supplied to Target was sourced lawfully by a domestic supplier from a legitimate MAC wholesaler overseas.”
“Sourcing genuine product in this way, a process known as parallel importing, is not illegal in Australia and can result in significant savings for our customers. As a result, we can offer customers MAC products for 40 per cent less than other Australian retailers,” it says.
The retailer acknowledges the allegations regarding the authenticity of the products sold but says all products are tested before going on sale and it was assured the cosmetics were genuine.
Target has, however, removed the MAC products from its shelves and its online store ‘as a gesture of good faith’.
“As this matter is now the subject of legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate to comment further, however Target assures customers that it prides itself on the quality and value of its products and always seeks to find ways to bring customers a wider range at great prices,” it concludes.