by admin on May 1, 2013

Woolworths defends parallel imports
Woolworths defends parallel imports
From Inside Retail

Woolworths has set up a team to expand its parallel importing of products from international locations in a bid to reduce prices consumers pay for groceries.

The team comes as the supermarket chain was found to have been buying Australian deodorant brands, including Lynx, Rexona, and Impulse, in Singapore for 60 to 75 per cent of the price it pays locally, reports the Australian Financial Review.

Woolworths, which has accused suppliers of earning excessive profits in Australia by charging local retailers higher wholesale prices than they charge offshore buyers, is now threatening to source more products from overseas through parallel import channels unless suppliers reduce the price differential or provide more transparency into their cost structures.

“Our desire is not to parallel import any product”, a Woolworths spokesperson told the AFR.

“In fact, it is our strong desire to to build a much stronger range of locally produced category profiles. “However, when we know we are not getting a good deal locally, we are willing to take up parallel importing opportunities where there can be guarantee on quality, supply, and regulation and standards compliance.”

A spokesperson for Unilever Australasia, the supplier of the deodorants, said it was happy to engage with customers on Unilever products and their source.

“Parallel trading occurs around the world and Unilever respects that, however it needs to comply with all Australian laws and retailers should guard against risk of counterfeit products posing as parallel imports,” a Unilever spokesperson said.

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