It was predicted and it is coming true: a “hot autumn” with major battles between retailers and suppliers. The latest incident is found at Belgian retailer Delhaize, which has removed Colgate-Palmolive and Nivea (Beiersdorf) from the shelves.
“Not available for now”
RetailDetail noticed the signs – which have become altogether rather familiar lately – in a supermarket in Brussels. “Dear customer, Delhaize wants to offer its customers products at competitive price levels at any time. Due to difficult negotiations with the supplier, several products are not available for now. We apologise for any inconvenience caused”, the same message that was used a few months ago during a row with Danone. Nobody at Delhaize was available to comment.
The rising tensions do not come as a surprise, especially not after the comments by Frans Muller last week. The CEO of Ahold Delhaize had said that his supermarket group was in its hardest negotiations ever with suppliers, whom he accused of not doing their fair share in the current economic climate. “We do not simply accept just any price increase”, Muller stated just last week, and that was already visible today.
Undoubtedly, more of the same is coming: Muller expects that all annual negotiations will be very difficult and demands more of his suppliers. “If we see a brand supplier ask for a 15 % price hike and we see that price increases in raw materials have been a lot lower, we will refuse.”