Magazine article Marketing

Perfume Firms Fear Wrath of Retailers

Magazine article Marketing

Perfume Firms Fear Wrath of Retailers

Article excerpt

The world's top perfume manufacturers are "desperate" to supply the discount market but fear the wrath of retailers selling at full margins, a leading department store is claiming this week.

The charge that it is retailers who are pressurising fragrance houses into not supplying cut price chains puts an entirely new complexion on the discounting controversy which has raged for a full year now (Marketing, November 7, 1991).

Scent manufacturers have always claimed reluctance to supply the likes of Superdrug, Littlewoods and Asda -- which slash up to 30% off the price of top name brands -- on the grounds that discounting undermines their quality image.

But Littlewoods director Harry Thomas claims fragrance firms are now worried that they will lose market share (in value terms) if they ignore the burgeoning discount sector -- especially in the run-up to Christmas which accounts for 50% of annual sales.

"They are desperate to supply the discounters," he says.

"But pressure is being put on them from by retailers."

Littlewoods this week begins selling cut-price perfumes across its 120 stores, following a 50-store year-long trial.

Asda marked down perfumes into 148 stores last week (Marketing, October 22), joining Superdrug, Eau Zone, Fenwicks, Unichem and Tesco. …

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