Personalcare manufacturer Essity has reduced planned promotional activity in the convenience wholesale channel, causing price rises of up to 20% compared to the previous deal.

A source showed betterRetailing messages from a leading wholesaler claiming the recommended sale price on Essity’s Plenty Kitchen Towel x 2 line would rise to £3, rather than the planned £2.50 price point due to ‘supplier constraints during the pandemic.’

Defending the rise, a spokesperson from Essity told betterRetailing: “For household toiletries specifically, the latest 12-week IRI data shows that rolls are up 10% across the category, with Plenty demand double this at 21%.”

Referencing ‘incidences of panic buying’ the spokesperson concluded: “It would be remiss as a responsible manufacturer if Essity did not put in place mechanisms to flatten demand, helping to keep shelves stocked by disincentivising stockpiling in what are very unpredictable times.”

The move follows many major suppliers axing promotional activity and unable to meet demand in convenience stores during the initial stages of the pandemic, causing supplier-led inflation on many goods sold in local shops.

In an open letter published on 30 September, Bestway managing director Dawood Pervez urged suppliers to recognise the role local stores played during the initial crisis now that demand was once again rising. He said promotions were necessary to give independent stores “optimum support and opportunity,” explaining: “Alongside safety in store under Covid-19 as a major factor, fair pricing has been highlighted as the most important issue for consumers when shopping in their local convenience store.”

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