Lockdown, Delisting and GSCOP
In a recent news article, The Grocer have reported that in a recent survey carried out by Retail Mind, a third of suppliers have had products delisted by retailers since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.
The survey detailed that suppliers have continued to face tough times albeit things are more settled since the initial period of lockdown. “The survey found 36% of suppliers say that their needs are changing every day,” said Futter of Retail Mind. “Retailers are struggling to know what the ‘new norm’ is and this is having a massive knock-on impact.”
In related news, Groceries Code Adjudicator Christine Tacon told the Grocer the BRC had called on the government to suspend GSCOP during the crisis. BRC had been of the view that this was necessary to “ensure the measures to increase food supplies from the limited suspension of competition law were not inadvertently affected by GSCOP. This is primarily where retailers need to change contracts at short notice, for example to rationalise ranges in order to maximise production of the most popular lines by a manufacturer. We were looking for reassurance that by acting in the way the government wanted – supplying the food people need – we were not falling foul of GSCOP.”
Ms Tacon was opposed, explaining to government ministers that GSCOP had the flexibility to allow retailers and suppliers to thrash out temporary arrangements for what constituted reasonable notice without suspending the code.