I can’t identify my retailer for a number of reasons. He is surrounded by competition and he is not seeing eye to eye with his territory manager.

He has tried just about everything, but a big new competitor took 30-40% of his business. He managed to claw back about half, but would really like an outsider to come in and make a few suggestions.

The ex-retailer I once knew who was very good at this is long gone. From time to time others would appear, usually setting themselves geographical boundaries such as the West Country or within the M25. They all withered away.

Then I used to be able to put people onto Nisa retailer Kishor Patel and he would be happy to help. But now that his chain has been part-acquired by big Eastern European investors his mind will be obviously elsewhere.

Finally, I also suggested that my caller play ‘tart’ for a bit: after 20 years with the same supplier, things can get stale. So he should shop about a bit. Reps from rival chains will have seen plenty of stores and one of them may have the answers.

Or perhaps someone reading this may know someone? All comments gratefully received.