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Senior Industry Figures Slam Supplier Availability

No goods – no sales.  Stock availability is THE most important and first building block for successful trading in any business. In retail it is critically important to have well stocked and well presented stores. I’m sure we would all agree with this. Therefore it came as a major surprise to hear senior industry figures publicly slamming suppliers for poor availability at the recent IGD Wholesale Conference.

Many high level strategic issues and potential industry restructuring scenarios were being examined and played out at the conference.  We were all flying at 30,000 feet. All suited and booted and feeling nice and comfortable in the blue sky. Then suddenly it was back to street fighting as Colm Johnson of Booker Wholesale launched in with his criticism of supplier service levels, which he says are undermining the “core in every store” initiative. It was like being bombed back 10 years. His graphics of empty shelves in Booker stores punched the message home. He was supported by James Hall of Bestway and Martyn Ward of P&H and private discussions with other wholesale delegates (on a on-to-one) who confirmed that availability from source is very poor right now.

Clearly this needs fixing urgently asap. Of course there is a cost to stock holding and the industry is running as lean as possible but this cannot be allowed to compromise service to consumers. In this exceptionally competitive market any dip in service levels will result in lost business.

It’s very surprising that this is the first time that poor availability has come to light publicly. If you have any views or information on this subject please join the discussion.

 

David Gilroy

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