Here’s how stores are protecting themselves from competing with their own brands

Two major Swedish furniture retailers – IKEA and Ikea — have been sued by their suppliers for protecting each other’s brands over false labeling in their catalogs.

Several suppliers have been banned or urged to discontinue co-branding in catalogs. They include makers of fruit pears, apples, bananas, pear, pink grapefruit, mango, peaches, grapes, and guavas, the Reuters news agency reported.

Konrad Aldrenard, who runs food supplier J Fjord Foods in Sweden, said that IKEA led the charge to stop co-branding, while Ikea’s response was that Aldrenard’s customers should choose the leafier, paler IKEA shade.

IKEA argued in court that co-branding outside its own premises made no commercial sense.

The court has yet to rule in the case, but a number of suppliers are expected to appeal, while Ikea and IKEA’s shareholders and consumers can put up a show of solidarity by co-branding, at least at the register.

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