Sainsbury’s reverses discounting on vitamins

Sainsbury’s has had to follow Asda in reversing its discounts on vitamins and minerals across 70 per cent of the brands which it put on offer last week.

Last Tuesday manufacturers Seven Seas and Roche were granted an injunction against Asda to prevent the retailer breaching the resale price maintenance regulations (MW last week). Asda was forced to put prices back up on the majority of the 80 branded vitamins and minerals which it was discounting.

Sainsbury’s, which entered the fray just before the injunction was granted by offering 20 per cent discounts on 75 branded vitamins and minerals, returned most of these products to their original price.

Asda would like to see the current OFT investigation bring an end to the resale price maintenance on drugs. It has not yet decided whether to appeal against the court’s decision; a spokeswoman says the company “is still considering the ruling”.

Sainsbury’s is gearing up for two sub-brand launches in the haircare market in January. The chain refused to comment on the launches or where they would be positioned in the haircare market. But City analysts say own-label producer MacBride’s, which has developed many of the chain’s sub-brands, is producing a retailer’s own-label product in the haircare sector. Analysts believe the brand will be positioned against Procter & Gamble’s Pantene Pro-V.

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