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U.K. SodaStream Shop Shutters After Two Years

England store faced weekly protests over the company’s West Bank factory

by
Isabel Fattal
July 07, 2014
(SodaStream)

(SodaStream)

A store in Brighton, England that sold replacement parts for Israeli carbonation system SodaStream has closed its doors, JTA reports. The Israeli-owned EcoStream shop, which sold recyclable replacement bottles for SodaStream machines since opening in September 2012, had been the site of weekly boycott protests by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, whose members oppose Sodastream’s factory in the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.

According to the U.K.’s Jewish Chronicle, the protests were regularly countered with demonstrations by the Sussex Friends of Israel.

A SodaStream UK spokeswoman dismissed the role of the protests in the store’s closure, telling the Chronicle, “Following a two-year test period, the company has decided to focus its business efforts on other channels.”

British department store chain John Lewis also recently announced that it would no longer be stocking SodaStream products; according to the Chronicle, the reason given for the move was “declining sales.”

SodaStream has been the source of controversy over the past year, starting with the company’s appointment of Scarlett Johansson as celebrity spokesperson in January. Supporters of the international boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement pushed Johansson to end her support for the company; Johansson refused and instead stepped down from her role as ambassador for OxFam International due to the aid organization’s stance on the BDS campaign.

Isabel Fattal, a former intern at Tablet Magazine, attends Wesleyan University.