Unilever in ongoing pricing dispute with Tesco

13-Oct-2016

UK’s biggest retailer in ongoing dispute caused by plummeting value of the pound

Many popular Unilever products are currently out of stock at Tesco following a dispute between the two companies.

We always work to ensure customers get the best possible prices and we hope to have this issue resolved soon.”
Tesco spokesperson

The conglomerate is said to be involved in a disagreement with the retailer over prices, following a 17% reduction in the value of the pound against the euro.

The Guardian reports that Unilever attempted to raise wholesale prices across a range of its goods by around 10%.

A spokesperson from Tesco told Cosmetics Business that the availability issue was only affecting customers online and said that customers should still be able to find items in stores.

Consumer concerns

Consumers have reacted with dismay at the news, with #Marmitegate the top trending topic on Twitter in the UK following the news. The dispute has impacted supplies of a number of Unilever brands, including several of its personal care brands.

At the time of writing, many products from Unilever’s Dove, Sure, Impulse, Lynx and St. Ives ranges were listed as “currently not available” on the Tesco website. Unilever said that it would not be commenting on the matter.

Tesco said that it hoped the issue would be resolved “soon” but it has not indicated when that will be.

A spokesperson said: "We are currently experiencing availability issues on a number of Unilever products. We always work to ensure customers get the best possible prices and we hope to have this issue resolved soon.”

Brexit impact

Ahead of the EU referendum, Unilever warned that the price of its products could increase if the UK was to vote in favour of leaving. Today, it released positive financial results for the third quarter of 2016 but said that this was "despite challenging markets".

Tesco is the UK’s biggest retailer while Unilever is the biggest food and grocery manufacturer operating in the region. Tesco’s current Chief Executive, Dave Lewis, previously led Unilever's personal care team.

Shares in both Tesco and Unilever dropped 2% as trading began this morning as the dispute continues.

Unilever’s personal care brands

Dove
Sure
Lynx
Brut
Impulse
Radox
Simple
Pond’s
St. Ives
Timotei
TRESemmé
Vaseline

Companies