Comet now charging listing fees to suppliers

Comet parent company, Kesa, is reportedly telling suppliers they must pay listing fees to have their products displayed on shelf. Commercial director Bob Darke told suppliers that starting in 2009 they would have to pay a listing fee as well as a 2% discount on invoices.

The FT mentions example fees of £15,400 for white goods and £5,000 for a toaster. However, the listing fees will not cover all goods displayed.

The fee on listing model has been central to DSGi's supplier pricing over the years however Comet has previously avoided applying the same model to their suppliers.

[Financial Times] - Thanks Mike!


  • benjimoron
    Supermarkets do the same thing, they have to pay if they want their product at eye level for example.
  • Mike H.
    I'm going to tell COMET that if they want me to come and look at their products, I want a fee AND 2% off my order, then I'll tell them to stick up their rectal passage!
  • silps
    This might be common practice but doesn't it go against competition rules if you get more prominence for your product by paying?
  • Ian D.
    How long before suppliers decide to push harder with direct on-lines sales ? and review the 'value' that dealing with companies like Comet give ?
  • Paul N.
    Interesting comment Ian. I wonder if we are going to see more companies try direct sales i.e. Dell as the distribution power of offline falters.
  • Tony
    Nothing new here , this has been happening for at least the last 40 years. I can even remember reps giving store managers "incentives" to put their goods in a prominent position, a floor stack, gondola end, etc, etc. I think there will be a gradual move towards companies providing direct sales although it is not an easy process and somewhat risky.
  • Mark
    Have you ever popped into Comet, browsed their stock then bought it cheaper online? At least now Comet will make some money from being a product showroom.
  • Fred C.
    Hang on a minute, isn't all these payment schemes a waste of human resources and create artificial work for beaureacrats who do not create an ounze of real wealth that could be consumed by the consumers but create adminstration of shunting units of money about with no apparent gain? E.g. Say now you need to employe a person of £50,000 to administer the payment from the suppliers. The suppliers then add £x to the goods to recover the £50,000 that they paid to Comet , the consumer pays £x for the same goods from Comet which without the admin is £x less. Surely the £50,000 of resource is wasted?! We all need to go back to the basics and cut out all these administration and accounting. They serve only to increase the number of people who create paperwork and push paperwork. The goods insurance business is another mega waste of human resources with tens of thousands of people managing goods protection policies in insurance companies for no productive use to the UK economy. E.g. If you purchased £100 insurance for a fridge, £50 insurance for a TV, £200 for a washing machine...blah blah blah, when you spent £2000 on insurance premium it serves to employ a fraction of person pushing paper work and the infrastructure that goes with it. However if you cut out the insurance then your £2000 could be used much more productively to replace the goods that would otherwise suffer loss and damage, Then that fraction of an insurance person could be deployed to make the goods that people really want directly and cut out the middle layer of management of insurance policy. This is where a lot of companies are going wrong in UK as their business models gradually move to reply on high risk and high profit insurance policies. Such a wonton waster of human labour.
  • Anon
    This does happen online, I know that several large online computer retailers such as Scan, MicroDirect and Aria ask manufacturers to pay for prominent positions on the site. Aria has almost every category covered with a sponsorship deal. Take a look at memory and you will see a banner for OCZ. This gives Aria hundreds of £ each month, priority access to stock, discounts etc. I subscribe to the laughable PC World email and you can tell that the majority of the time HP have sponsored it as one recent email features HP laptops only.
  • iAn
    Isnt this having the penny and the bun? ripoff suppliers - rip off customers too
  • OFI
    @Mark: Exactly what I was thinking. Seems daft it's taken them so long to think of this.
  • Kevin
    I've been to Comet then bought on their own website cheaper even with delivery included.
  • Anonymouse
    I always buy from PC World, at least their advisors have some information, Comet advisors don't seem to know their _____from their elbows, and that won't change even if they are paid to put stock on their shelves

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