Shobhana Patel writes from Broadway News in London’s Mill Hill that she has had a double-door cooler from Coca-Cola since 2007 and, until recently, had no problem with what products she stocked in it.

But she adds: “Our new Coca-Cola rep has demanded that the cooler should exclusively be stocked with Coca-Cola products. I have another double-door cooler from Lucozade which does allow me to stock other products. However, I cannot have a cooler stocked entirely with Coca-Cola products because it is not feasible in the current economic climate.”

She received a written warning from the company and when she contacted me Coke was threatening to remove the cooler.

As I last wrote on this subject back in 2007, Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) offers three options: purchase; rental; or zero rental. If you buy the cooler you can obviously put what you like in it. With rental you need to stock 80% of the cooler with CCE lines.

I looked at Shobhana’s contract and it is zero rental, meaning she needs to follow Coca-Cola’s planograms.

As this is being written she is still negotiating with CCE to keep the cooler, but she adds: “Another potential problem is that now that Coca-Cola has implemented these rules, Lucozade may do the same. Then I may have to get rid of products that are doing well, but cannot be stocked in either of the coolers. I just wanted to know whether other retailers are having the same problem and what they have done to overcome it?”

I hate to say this, but Coke didn’t get to own the world without being fussy about supplying display space for any of its rivals.