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Targeted by protests, SodaStream suffers setbacks in UK

July 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm

SodaStream has “suffered serious setbacks” in Britain, with major chain John Lewis taking the Israeli company’s products off the shelves.

The nationwide department store said in a statement that it would “no longer stock the range”, a decision taken “in light of declining sales” following a “regular commercial review”.

John Lewis’ store on Oxford Street has been a regular target of SodaStream-focused protests by Palestine solidarity campaigners opposed to the location of SodaStream’s main production plant in an illegal West Bank settlement.

Meanwhile, SodaStream’s Brighton store EcoStream has closed following what a company spokesperson referred to as a “two-year test period”. The store has faced weekly protests since it opened, with pro-Palestine demonstrators often facing off against pro-Israel activists.

SodaStream’s UK woes come six months after it received worldwide attention for its involvement with Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, as brand ambassador Scarlett Johansson was dropped by Oxfam over her ties with the company.

John Lewis’ decision was announced as a number of European governments publish warnings against trade with settlements, similar to that issued by the UK government back in December.