Most independents like having a rep call - especially those from the tobacco/beer/confectionery companies and especially when the reps come bearing rewards for those who have followed layout schemes.
Vipul Pabari was no different, except that he had somehow fallen off of Nestlé’s list. When he rang me he hadn’t seen their rep for over a year. He couldn’t understand it, because he was still getting regular visits from Mars, Cadbury, Carlsberg, Imperial and JTI.
His store, Connaught Road Post Office, is easily accessible in the town of Market Harborough in Leicestershire. He also couldn’t get through on the phone - he says that the contact number he had been given never answers (it probably belonged to a previous rep).
I got through to the press office with no trouble and after a little chasing I got a response. A spokesperson said: “I have checked with our sales team and understand this has now been sorted and our team will resume calling at Mr Pabari’s store.”
Indeed when I rang Vipul to confirm this, the Nestlé rep had already popped round and told him that they would catch up on 18 months-worth of various rewards. It’s a sizeable tally, amounting to about 36 cases of chocolate.
“They’re worth about £400,” he says, “but they’re not prepared to pay it all at once. It might take one-and-a-half years to catch up. And they have also given me the area manager’s telephone number.”