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Retail chains, FMCG cos at war over right of first access


Nachiket Kelkar,CNN-IBN
Jul 10, 2008 at 03:07am IST

Mumbai: Nestle hot chocolate drink, Jacker potato chips, shampoos and conditioners are just some of the many foreign brands that My Dollar Store imports and sells through its outlets. But global FMCG companies that manufacture these brands are crying foul because they have not yet introduced them in India.

Sources say the Indian units of companies like Hul, Colgate, and P&G have written to the Customs Department asking it to confiscate such imported goods.

They say they have the right of first access to these brands and hence only they will decide when to sell them in India.

However, retailers call the move unfair saying they source the products from legal channels unlike the black marketers of the past.

“Today with genuine products coming in from companies themselves or their distributors worldwide, I don't think it makes sense not to get these products or to control or be a hurdle in getting those products to Indian consumers,” MD of Sankalp Retail Value Stores Umesh Asher said.

The retailers have initiated discussions with the FMCG players on this issue but so far there is no concrete solution in sight. But that has not deterred players like My Dollar Store in getting more products from international makers.

Sankalp retail, which presently has 50 My Dollar Stores, aims to have 200 to 250 outlets in two years. It says it will continue to focus on sourcing more foreign brands that are not currently sold in India.

It's also in talks with companies like Pepsi, Colgate, Nestle and master foods hoping for an amicable resolution.

(With inputs from Vivin Mathew)

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