"Hands up, we got it wrong," said Asda corporate affairs director Paul Kelly. The charge had been cut from 27 April following feedback from suppliers suggesting it was disproportionate to the costs involved, he explained.
"We owe it to customers who bring back a product to take it up with suppliers and recoup the associated costs. It is part of the robust commercial relationship we have with our suppliers. But what we do is listen to feedback and where they have got a legitimate issue we act on it."
An Asda supplier contacted The Grocer this week to say the £70 charge was unfair. "Asda dresses this up as administration costs but they are more than double any other retailer and are basically a profit stream," he said.