Coach Sues Frison Flea Market; St. Louis Bazaar Has History of Selling Counterfeit Goods

Jack Frison inside his 81,000-square-foot emporium. - Photo: Jennifer Silverberg
Photo: Jennifer Silverberg
Jack Frison inside his 81,000-square-foot emporium.
A former employee of the Coach store at Plaza Frontenac went slumming this year at Frison Flea Market in Pagedale and couldn't believe her eyes. Spread out across the mega indoor flea market were dozens of fake Coach purses selling at $30 to $35 a pop.

"I went there for the first time and could not believe the amount and product they had, and nothing was being done about it," Bridget Barolak of Clayton tells the Post-Dispatch this morning.

Barolak quickly informed Coach of what she saw, and soon the famous handbag-maker had launched an investigation of its own. This week, Coach sued the flea market and its owner Jack Frison in federal court in St. Louis seeking $2 million a pop for each of the half-dozen fake Coach purses its investigators purchased this year at the flea market.

Frison, meanwhile, has responded with little concern.

As the flea-market proprietor recounted in an RFT profile, Flea Enterprise, police have raided his emporium numerous times for counterfeit goods. On each occasion, he's responded that the same excuse: He's just the landlord. It's the vendors inside who foot the blame.

Frison reiterates that message in the following excerpt from today's paper.
Asked whether any of the vendors at his flea market sell counterfeit products, Frison said, "They probably do."

Frison has signs posted throughout the flea market prohibiting the sale of illegal merchandise and said he asks vendors to sign a waiver saying they won't sell counterfeits. "All I can do is tell them it's against the law," he said. "I can't make them stop."

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