Procter & Gamble is testing a website that sells its products directly to consumers. The move is likely to anger the company’s traditional retailers by running in direct competition with them.
The website, theEssentials.com, exclusively sells P&G brands, such as Braun and Gillette, as well as P&G ranges of toothpaste, cleaning products and nappies. The website is operated by a third party, which owns the inventory but the site is covered by P&G legal terms and conditions.
The move, though currently a small-scale pilot scheme in North America, will put the company into direct competition with its retailers. A P&G spokesman claims: “We treat them like any other retailer as they buy product directly from us.”
Earlier this year, P&G said rising commodity costs meant that it was being forced to pass on “unprecedented” price increases to consumers. If theEssentials.com proves a successful sales channel and is rolled out to a wider audience it is thought it will enable P&G to compete with retailers cheaper own-brand products.