Sainsbury’s loses in Andrex battle

Kimberly-Clark has won a two-week showdown with Sainsbury’s over the toiletry company’s decision to hike the price of its Andrex tissue brand.

Sainsbury’s refused to accept the price hike, thought to be about seven per cent, so K-C halted supplies of the top-selling toilet tissue paper at the end of last month.

Sainsbury’s has now been forced to retreat and accept the new price, after its own-brand supplies became severely depleted.

Sainsbury’s was the only retailer to fight the price rise, which K-C has pushed for since last summer (MW August 22, 2002). The price increase was initially shelved after own-label brands refused to follow suit. But industry sources claim that a jump in manufacturing costs has forced up prices across the tissue market (MW October 17, 2002).

Joe Bromilow, marketing director for Andrex, says: “I’m delighted that Andrex will soon be back on sale in Sainsbury’s. This is excellent news for consumers.”

Rival brands are likely to follow suit with K-C’s toilet tissue brand. When K-C cut its price and sheet count for Andrex in 2001, Procter & Gamble’s Charmin Ultra copied its lead (MW December 6, 2001).

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