Supermarket giant plans new supplier charge

By Harry Pearl

Foodstuffs NZ is planning to introduce a new charge for suppliers selling products through its Wellington supermarkets. Photo / Martin Sykes
Foodstuffs NZ is planning to introduce a new charge for suppliers selling products through its Wellington supermarkets. Photo / Martin Sykes

Foodstuffs New Zealand - the owner of New World, Pak'n Save and Four Square stores around the country - plans to implement a new 3 per cent promotions rebate on products sold in their Wellington supermarkets.

The move has been described as " a body blow for suppliers" by former Green Party MP Sue Kedgley, but Foodstuffs Wellington has said the move replaces existing charges on promotional activities including advertising space in flyers, media advertisements, special instore promotions and marketing support.

Antoinette Shallue, Group Communications Director at Foodstuffs, said the company had worked hard to keep the rebate as low as possible, and it was "significantly lower" than the 6 per cent charged by other retailers in the sector.

"This cost has always been in place to support the various product promotions suppliers undertake... and the proposed 3 per cent rebate off invoice is in line with what is already being paid."

However, the move has prompted The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council (FGC) to engage in discussions with the company.

Katherine Rich, chief executive officer FGC, wouldn't comment publicly on negotiations but said talks are likely to wind up within the next few days.

"We're just in the process of putting the case of our member companies," Ms Rich said.

According to documents released to the Herald, the rebate is to be introduced on October 1 and will cover all Foodstuff Wellington stores aside from Pak'n Save.

Shallue said she couldn't comment on whether the rebate will be extended to Auckland, but said there will be no additional costs to customers.

Progressive Enterprises spokesperson Luke Schepen said his company, which own Countdown, Supervalue and Freshchoice stores, operated differently with suppliers and doesn't have an across the board charge.

"We have a really good relationship with our suppliers and we work with them collaboratively."

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