Pirate CI

Pirate Joe’s vs. Trader Joe’s: A gray market fight

Joyce A. Young, Indiana State University, Chia-An Chao, Indiana State University, Paul W. Clark, Coastal Carolina University
January 19, 2021
North America
Marketing & Sales, Strategy & General Management
3 pages
gray market, marketing channels, private label brands, business law
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.68)
Average rating: 

This critical incident describes an ethical and legal dilemma faced by the owner of a small, local retailer. Pirate Joe’s, a small retail store in Vancouver, British Columbia, was celebrating its fourth year in operation. Mike Hallatt, the founder of Pirate Joe’s, had seen a demand for Trader Joe’s products in Vancouver, so he opened the store and sold Trader Joe’s branded goods at inflated prices. But to get the groceries, he needed to shop in bulk at Trader Joe’s stores almost three hours away in Seattle. Trader Joe’s executives did not approve of the unauthorized importing of its products from the United States, and had taken legal steps in US federal court against Hallatt in an attempt to halt his importing activities. Students are asked to decide what course of action Mike Hallatt should take in response to the latest development related to the Trader Joe’s lawsuit.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Evaluate whether conditions conducive to gray market development are present
  2. Compare and contrast the benefits of private label brands vs. national brands
  3. Explain the application of a given business law statute
  4. Analyze and defend criteria relating to a business operating decision