UK: SodaStream silent on John Lewis pullout after protests
SodaStream operates a factory in the West Bank
SodaStream has refused to comment on claims that UK retailer John Lewis removed its products from shelves after being targeted by pro-Palestinian protests.
The Israel-based company, which has been criticised by charity groups for operating a factory in the occupied West Bank, told just-drinks today (7 July) it would not comment on “speculation”. John Lewis stopped selling SodaStream's home carbonation kits last week, citing falling sales.
John Lewis said in a statement that is has stocked Sodastream for the past four years but, "in light of recent sales levels, coupled with a new direction for our cook and dine assortment, we’ve taken the decision to no longer stock the range".
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) claimed the move as a victory following fortnightly Saturday protests outside John Lewis’ flagship Oxford Street store in London. It also welcomed the closure of a Brighton SodaStream store last week that was the target of weekly Saturday demonstrations.
“The double blow dealt to SodaStream this week should serve as a warning to other settlement companies - their business is not wanted here,” the PSC said in a statement.
SodaStream told just-drinks the Brighton "EcoStream" store was a test project and the company has decided to focus on “other channels, specifically on retail distribution partnerships”.
In February, SodaStream brand ambassador Scarlett Johansson quit a role with Oxfam over her support for the drinks company. Oxfam claims SodaStream's West Bank factory, which employs Palestinian workers, contravenes international law.
Sectors: Soft drinks
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