German hard discounter Lidl is stepping up its trading relationships with key global branded suppliers. It has been in talks with US paper product giant Kimberly-Clark, maker of Kleenex tissues and Huggies nappies.
Lidl has also recently begun selling brands supplied by Procter & Gamble and Nestlé through its stores in Germany. A spokesman for Lidl in the UK said that it usually followed what its German parent was doing.
Fellow German discounter Aldi is also believed to be close to agreeing terms with Ferrero to stock its confectionery brands such as Rocher and Duplo in Germany.
An increase in the number of branded products sold by discounters in the UK would add substance to their claims to be “effective” competition to the big multiples.
As The Grocer went to press, the Competition Commission was due to report on whether Somerfield would have to sell 14 stores it bought from Morrisons. Current rules would bar discounters from bidding for them. The commission said in 2003 the discounters did not represent “effective competition”, as they did not offer a wide enough range.