Detergent switch hurts chem demand - analyst

30 May 2008 23:25  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US retailer Wal-Mart’s decision to carry only concentrated detergent was “a negative for chemical demand, already hit by a slowing economy”, an analyst said on Friday.

Citigroup’s PJ Juvekar made the comments a day after Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, announced it had finished a plan hatched eight months ago to sell only liquid detergent concentrate in its US and Canadian stores.

Wal-Mart said the decision to sell only concentrate is expected over the next three years to save at least 95m lb (43,091 tonnes) of plastic resin, 400m gal (1.5m cubic metres) of water and 125m lb (56,700 tonnes) of cardboard.

The company said its stores are responsible for 25% of liquid laundry detergent sales in the US, and it expects to sell 800m units of the concentrate over the next three years.

Wal-Mart’s plans to shift towards only concentrated detergent are part of larger efforts to slash the amount of packaging in its stores by 5% before 2013, Juvekar said.

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By: David Rosen

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