Costcutter has pledged to rectify a number of delivery issues experienced by retailers under the new buy and supply arrangement with P&H.
Nearly all Costcutter stores have now migrated to P&H deliveries under the BuyCo system, which officially replaced the supply deal with Nisa earlier this week.
Paul Sohal, who owns a store in Crich, Derbyshire, said he was yet to receive a delivery on time, or in full. “The first delivery was a shambles. The driver said P&H can’t cope at the depot. I was told migration would be smooth and it hasn’t been, even though they’ve had 18 months to get it sorted,” he said.
“The World Cup is on, it’s the height of the summer, and at this point in time we should be achieving maximum sales possible. We’ve had to turn customers away.”
Jay Patel, of Costcutter Pinxton, Derbyshire, said: “We migrated on June 16 and have had two missed deliveries. We’re missing 31 items; the shelves are bare.”
They also claimed that Costcutter was not fulfilling its pricing promise. “The prices are too high. They promised 1% less, but hiked everything up about 1%,” Jay said.
Darcy Willson-Rymer, CEO of Costcutter, said: “We fully understand that some retailers in certain parts are experiencing issues and are prioritising those, working with Palmer & Harvey to apply manpower and investment to get them rectified as soon as possible.
“We understand the situation of every one of our retailers and the impact these issues has on their business, and we are in contact throughout this period to make sure they know our plans and how we will support them. These plans are being driven hard and fast to enable us to remove the difficulties and get us to normal service levels within the next three to four weeks – just as we did with the migration in Northern Ireland back in March.”
But Chaz Chahal, whose two Worcestershire stores migrated four and two weeks prior to C-Store going to press, said he had expected late deliveries at this early stage.
“I expected a bumpy ride at the beginning, given it was a multi-million pound project. I don’t want to make any knee-jerk decision based on mixed deliveries,” he added.
A Nisa spokesman said it was currently receiving “dozens” of calls from Costcutter retailers interested in joining the group.