Groupe SEB USA is tightening its All-Clad authorized distribution network, and the company will no longer accept All-Clad orders from select retailers as of July 1, 2020, according to a letter from Groupe SEB received by some independent retailers.
In the letter obtained by GOURMET INSIDER®, Groupe SEB stated a smaller authorized distribution network for All-Clad stainless steel cookware and other All-Clad products will allow the company to continue protecting All-Clad’s brand equity while effectively supporting its remaining business amid the COVID-19 crisis. The letter did not specify which retailers and how many are affected by the new All-Clad distribution policy and whether the move is permanent.
When reached for comment by Gourmet Insider, Groupe SEB stated: “We greatly value the partnership of the distributors who helped us grow All-Clad into the brand it is today. Under unprecedented pressures placed on our logistics network from the COVID-19 pandemic and our continuous commitment to protect our brand equity in today’s fast changing retail landscape, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our network of authorized distributors.”
KC Lapiana, president of HTI Buying Group, explained that she is disappointed in the brand’s decision to remove many independent retailers from the roster.
“Groupe SEB’s decision had to be difficult to make,” Lapiana said. “The brand, the reps and the stores will all be affected. Independents have had an indelible mark on growing the All-Clad brand for well over 30 years. We are very sorry to see them move in this direction.”
Janis Johnson, founder and president of GC Buying Group, echoed this sentiment and has started securing alternative product lines for its members.
“GC stores are working toward making an alternate decision for product to replace All-Clad, and a couple of suggestions have been made,” she said.