Aberdeenshire-based re:treat Apothecary, a small operation that handmakes products such as deodorant, oils and soaps, has hit out at Marks & Spencer for naming a new product almost identical to their entire brand.
Owner Kathryn McIntosh spoke out after she saw the multinational retailer release a new product named Retreat Apothecary.
The M&S product is an aroma oil and part of the retailer’s Apothecary range.
In an open letter shared on the firm’s Instagram page, the small business stated that it made sure that the name was not used anywhere else before its launch in June 2020.
Ms McIntosh claims her business is at a disadvantage as when potential customers search for her brand, the first results are for M&S products.
The letter described the retailer’s move as “not cool”.
It read: “I’m so sorry that M&S haven’t done the same due diligence, checking that ‘retreat Apothecary’ wasn’t already in use by another business.
“Maybe one of your employees did search online and found ‘re:treat Apothecary’ but decided to go ahead anyway?
“M&S will always feature higher in a Google search than a wee one-person company from the north of Scotland. Unless of course you change the name of your products.
“I know we’re small, but we matter.”
Marks and Spencer responded, believing they did not infringe any of Re:treat Apothecary’s rights.
The retailer said: “Our popular Apothecary brand launched in 2018 and includes a range of home fragrance products – for example scented candles and diffusers – in different scents including Calm, Balance and just for Christmas 2021 – Retreat.
“This limited-edition offer was created independently of other retailers and is a unique product range.”
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