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Another Footwear Brand Drops Direct Sales on Amazon

The brand behind the most eye-catching silhouette in barefoot running officially announced it will join Nike and others in abandoning first-party sales on Amazon’s U.S. website.

On Tuesday, Vibram Corporation, maker of both the Vibram FiveFingers running shoe and a suite of performance outsoles, announced it had made the decision to cease selling directly to Amazon USA in order to better support favored retail partners ahead of a Spring 2021 relaunch of the FiveFingers silhouette, an argument similar to Nike’s reasons for parting ways with the e-commerce juggernaut.

“As part of Vibram’s emphasis on elevating consumer experiences together with more direct, personal relationships, we had to take a strong decision in our distribution strategy. Earlier in the summer we made the choice to stop selling our Vibram FiveFingers product directly to Amazon USA,” Fabrizio Gamberini, the global chief brand officer and president of Vibram Corporation, said in a statement.

“This isn’t a decision we took lightly, but Vibram is a brand,” he added. “We will continue to invest in strong, distinctive partnerships for Vibram Corporation with other retailers.”

Vibram currently produces more than 40 million soles every year and dedicates more than one million kilometers to testing its performance products. With operations in 120 countries, including the U.S., China, Japan, Brazil and Italy, the company has an international footprint that may minimize the fallout from dropping Amazon.

Vibram outsoles have recently been found on brands like Sperry, Danner, Ross & Snow, Hoka One One and numerous others. The company said it has actively been recruiting third-party sellers to keep its products “widely available” on Amazon, despite its move away from first-party sales.

“The yellow octagon logo is instantly recognizable around the world,” Gamberini added. “Amazon might be the most visible commercial vehicle, but we are heavily investing in our brand, in key segments, and in our business partners. We’re accelerating the growth dimensions of our business with new players around the country.”