In the latest sign that tensions between retailers and their suppliers are rising, Delhaize has suspended purchases from the FMCG group.
Delhaize said that “unacceptable demands” by Unilever, in particular a requirement that it stock more products than in the past, led to the decision.
“Unilever is demanding that we place all their products on our shelves without having a say on what we offer to our customers,” said Delhaize. “It is the first time we have been confronted with this attitude,” it added.
As reported in the Financial Times, Unilever responded that the weakening economic situation made negotiations with retailers increasingly difficult. Delhaize’s local rivals have met their conditions.
Consumer brands are being squeezed as they lose shelf space as supermarkets stock more discount own-label brands and as household incomes drop.
Last year, Tesco asked some non-food suppliers to wait up to two months to be paid instead of the usual one.