December 21, 2018 / 1:00 PM / 9 months ago

German retailer Kaufland drops Unilever products over price rises

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Unilever is seen at the headquarters in Rotterdam, Netherlands August 21, 2018. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The German food retailer Kaufland on Friday said that it was dropping Unilever (ULVR.L) products from its shelves to protest against price increases.

Kaufland, which operates 660 stores in Germany, said that it had tried to reach a solution since May with Unilever but its offers were rejected.

It affects products including Knorr, Lipton and Ben & Jerry’s.

Unilever, citing confidential customer relationships, declined to comment.

“Unilever, from Kaufland’s point of view, seeks to use its formidable market position to influence retailers and optimize its own returns,” Kaufland said.

“Due to its corporate responsibility, Kaufland was unable to accept Unilever’s demands and had to react,” the German retailer said.

Kaufland said that it its decision would also impact its stores in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.

Kaufland is part of Germany’s Schwarz Gruppe, which is also the owner of discount retailer Lidl.

Reporting by Tom Sims and Anneli Palmen; Additional reporting by Martinne Geller in London. Editing by Jane Merriman

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