Saturday, February 27, 2021

“Marmageddon” avoided as Tesco and Unilever settle dispute

Tesco and Unilever have settled their dispute over prices and called an end to “Marmitegate”, following the grocer’s refusal to pay an extra 10 per cent for goods.

After the share prices for both companies dropped by over three per cent each yesterday, the two companies sought to settle their differences.

Neither company has revealed the details of their deal, but both confirmed popular brands like Ben & Jerry‘s and PG Tips will return to the shelves of Tesco.

Unilver said they were “pleased to confirm that the supply situation with Tesco in the UK and Ireland has now been successfully resolved”.

Despite the swift resolution, experts warn this is the first in of many price disputes to come after the Brexit vote, as the fall in the sterling, uncertainty of coming tariff changes and tight margins of the ongoing price war add to the pressure of the situation.

RELATED: Tesco enters fierce standoff with Unilever over price hikes

Small retailers without the clout of Tesco could also have little ground to argue the price changes.

“Retailers are firmly on the side of consumers in negotiating with suppliers and improving efficiencies in the supply chain to control the inflationary pressure that is building through the devaluation of the pound,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

“However, years of falling shop prices and higher costs have left limited scope for retailers to continue absorbing this pressure, and everyone in the supply chain will need to play their part in maintaining low prices for consumers.”

RELATED: Steinhoff warns of dangerous sterling drop

Nonetheless, Tesco seems to have benefited from the spat. 

Although it is thought they reached a compromise with Unilever on prices, they can now say they fought for the consumer.

A spokesperson for Tesco said: “We always put our customers first and we are pleased this has been resolved to our satisfaction.”

This will come as welcome positive PR for the supermarket chain, which has suffered at the hands of the press for the recent banking scandal and growing pensions deficit.

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