Ajay Parekh first contacted me about Londis allocations back in November, 2016. He had stockpiles of stuff he couldn’t sell. He trades in a bit of a hardup area in Nottingham. He describes his location as being at a crossroads with a big student hostel on one corner, a disused pub on another, a retail park with a thriving B&M discounter on the third corner and himself opposite. The demographic is probably best described as inner city estate/immigrant.
At the time it was thought that the problem would be solved by putting him on a different scheme that at first we thought was to be a forecourt allocation. Turned out to be the Londis ‘Headstart’ package which he thinks is there to promote new products ahead of the crowds.
He is spending on average £5K a week. “This week only £4K, last week £8.5K.” On top of this he spends £2-3K a week at Booker’s on products he can’t get through Londis mainly for his Afro-Caribbean customers.
He still has a problem with the allocation. He cites, for eg, Red Bull watermelon. He ordered six cases of 12 and got sent an extra four cases on allocation.
He is being told that he isn’t buying enough or accepting enough of the allocations to qualify for any promotional material, point-of-sale or merchandising. He says: “I’ve got the Londis fascia out front but that’s it. Londis is like my wholesaler. There is no support there.”
Londis recently sent him a package of freebies, a reward for 20 years of loyalty, but he feels he is on a one-way street.
I contacted Londis and a spokesperson said: “We are sorry to hear of Mr Parekh’s concerns and although we do not discuss individual customers, we have picked up with him directly.”
Ajay wants to know whether he is the only one with this problem.