Walmart Brings In Other Brands, Challenges Longtime Partnership With Procter & Gamble

Image courtesy of Comedian

You may not realize it, but every product that you see on the shelves of a major retailer is there because of intense negotiations behind the scenes over price, placement, number of varieties available, and even whether there will be a near-identical store-brand product next to it on the shelf.

More products, lower prices, and more competition is all good for consumers, and there have been some nice consumer victories in this Walmart-P&G war. Walmart brought Persil, a high-end detergent from Germany, to its shelves last year, and the new brand didn’t just give shoppers a fancy alternative to Tide. Persil actually beat Tide in the detergent tests at our sibling publication, Consumer Reports.

Procter & Gamble and Walmart have had a long and fruitful relationship. The company was the first to set up an office in Bentonville solely to be near Walmart, which many suppliers have since imitated. Their supply relationship depends on long-standing trust and handshake deals, which may have to change.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, insiders compared the relationship between the two companies to a strained marriage where both partners are determined to stay for the sake of their children.

Only instead of “children,” what Procter & Gamble and Walmart share is $10 billion worth of packaged goods business that includes brands like Charmin, Dawn, Gillette, Pampers, Swiffer, and Tide.

Wal-Mart and P&G: A $10 Billion Marriage Under Strain [Wall Street Journal]