Supermarket chain Asda is refusing to accept new stocks of Procter & Gamble’s leading-edge toilet tissue product, Charmin, because the retailer is saying it would be forced to pass on a ten per cent increase in price to the consumer.
The retail outlet will continue to sell the remaining Charmin stock at existing prices – the four-roll at £1.79 and the nine-roll at £3.58. Once stock has been sold, Asda plans to devote the extra shelf space to its own home-brand, Shades.
According to Asda, P&G is seeking to push up prices which would force the supermarket chain to sell new stock of Charmin four-roll at 18p more and the nine-roll at 36p more.
Asda is already selling Kimberly-Clark’s Andrex and SCA Hygiene’s Velvet brands at increased retail prices, which were marked up at the beginning of this month. Kimberly-Clark has admitted that the retail prices for its Andrex products have gone up by about ten per cent. Meanwhile, Fort James’ brands – Nouvelle, Kitchensoft and Dixcel – have also seen price hikes of between ten to 12 per cent.
The price rises have been triggered by an increase in the cost of paper pulp and raw materials for packaging.
A spokesman at Asda says: “We have accepted the price rise in other brands and not Charmin because the P&G brand has been in the market since only February. It seemed to have launched at the wrong price.” But he adds: “It is unfair because the cost of paper has been going up. “
A spokeswoman for P&G refuses to comment on the relationship with Asda, but says: “The escalating cost of paper has hit the entire market and there have been similar increases all over. P&G does not recommend retail prices.”
Asda’s Shades is available at the same price and its 12-roll has been reduced by 1p.