P&H-affiliated retailers finding new sources of supply

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (14)
  • Save

Retailers previously supplied by Palmer & Harvey (P&H) are making new supply arrangements in the wake of the collapse into administration of the wholesaler, as Costcutter Supermarkets Group (CSG) finalises its contingency plans ahead of the formal commencement of the Co-operative Group supply deal.

P&H’s collapse into administration on Tuesday was followed by confirmation on Wednesday that the Co-op would become the exclusive wholesale supplier to CSG in Spring next year.

Costcutter said CSG stores would be supplied by the Co-op “and other suppliers” in the interim period, but yesterday afternoon conceded it was still finalising those arrangements.

Nimal Navaratnarajah, who owns five Costcutter stores in the South West, signed a secondary supply deal with Bestway three weeks ago in anticipation of the collapse of P&H.

“I had a feeling it was going to cause me a few problems. I’m glad I did it because no-one at Costcutter has been in touch yet about supplying us – I’m surprised and really annoyed. I would be in a really bad situation right now without Bestway.”

Nimal is receiving two deliveries from Bestway per week at his smaller stores and six a week at his larger ones. “We’ve promised them at least £20,000 spend per week,” he told C-Store.

However, when the supply deal with the Co-op commences in the Spring, Nimal is hoping to enter a Co-op franchise agreement. “If I have the Co-op signage it will give me much more credibility to compete with other symbol groups.”

Chaz Chahal, who owns Simply Fresh and Costcutter stores in Worcestershire, said: “Instead of wasting time waiting for HQ to tell us things yesterday I decided to put my own plans in place. I spent hours breaking down the categories and putting new plans in place for individual ones. We are fortunate to have a van and lots of cash and carries in the area so getting hold of branded stock hasn’t been too much of a problem.

“I’m also very lucky to have good retailer friends within the industry who have been able to help me out by making orders on my behalf. It’s at times like this that all the industry networking events that we go to throughout the year really prove their worth!”

One Costcutter retailer told C-Store: “We just don’t have the resources to send people out to cash and carries to pick up stock and then pay for it cash in hand.

“It’s been really hard to find stock and the communication from Costcutter has been really bad. Apart from a text to say P&H had gone into administration and another telling us we can order milk and bread, we have heard nothing about any contingency plans going forward.

“I’ve heard from retailers and another source that a contingency plan won’t be in place for another four weeks. That would be crippling for retailers and may bring down a lot of businesses.”

A CSG spokesperson said: “At this time our priority is providing immediate support for our retailers this week and then putting in place interim supply measures.

“For supply over the next few days we are finalising our contingency arrangements with temporary wholesale and cash & carry accounts being opened for all our retailers. These contingency arrangements are with a variety of wholesale and cash & carry suppliers. We have already increased capacity with our existing bread and milk suppliers who already supply direct to our stores.

“For the interim supply for our stores we will be adding additional contingency supply arrangements that will be introduced through next week and beyond. The aim is to provide a delivered wholesale service wherever possible.”

Dean Holborn, who owns two Holborn’s stores in Surrey, cannot rely on a contingency plan as an unaffiliated retailer. He was in the cash and carry when C-Store contacted him. “I hadn’t had any notification from P&H but I saw the news coverage so I knew I had to make a contingency plan,” he said.

“I think the ramifications for this are enormous. It’s hard work for us retailers to go to the cash and carry and try to find where everything is, but also a lot of suppliers will have lost a lot of money and I don’t see how the system will cope with everyone looking for a new source of supply.

“It takes time to set people up with credit accounts and so on so it will mean paying cash on delivery for a while. And its not just P&H either, it’s all the third party suppliers that we dealt with via them as well.”

Wholesaler support

The Today’s Group said it was working in collaboration with key suppliers to ensure an increase stock holdings and key pricing on critical items “in order for independent businesses to be confident in making their local Today’s Group member wholesalers first choice to support this change”.

Booker is encouraging retailers to contact their local Booker cash and carries. “Following the administration of P&H, Booker is working with suppliers to minimise disruption in the supply chain. We are proud to serve thousands of brilliant, independent retailers and we are here to help any new customers.

“Booker understands that there may well be many P&H customers in urgent need of immediate support to purchase goods for their business. We have over 200 cash & carrys nationwide and would like to let any affected retailers know that we are here to help and we are easy to do business with.”

Readers' comments (14)

  • So Costcutter didn't have a contingency plan then.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • the day CC decided to move away from nisa was their biggest mistake . CC was and never would be as professional as nisa , and many CC members who moved to nisa attest to this . I feel sorry for present CC members . I have been in this trade for 3 decades and been through booker , bestways , londis , cc . so I can see a good thing when I see one .

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Thank God for Nisa and our saviours the CoOp. We'd be lost without them.
    ACostcutter members have been bought and sold.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Yes it is hard sourcing supply, but I am excited about the co-op supply agreement, hopefully the deal will have been done without the complexity of Nisa’s rebate and surcharge setup. P and H were rubbish but at least we got 3 deliveries per week of mixed ambient, chilled and frozen unlike Nisa where 1 ambient per week meant we needed larger stock rooms.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Let’s face it Nisa was bust with debt. We are buying ourselves out with the Co— op with our own money. The co—op can still withdraw as the market for conveniece stores collapsing. They can pick us up 1 by 1 for a song. Remember the Co— Was also bust what a laugh.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • the contingency plan consists of 'sort yourselves out' and will remain as that for the next few months i guess, as a minimum Yes, costcutter have opened accounts for retailers with various wholesalers etc. but have done nothng that cannot be done by yourself - nothing at all. You do have to question what is th epoint of remaining with costcutter. they will be losing retailers very quickly now as some wil see the light when they start to use different wholesalers with better orices, equivalently good ordering systems and availablility rates of getting close to 100%. The only way CC will be able to keep their retailers is to sign them up now for a eg 2 year contract for a lump sum payment to the retailer, otherwise there will be no point in them switching back when the new wholesale service is ready. Independent retailers are independent once again.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I have had a year with another symbol at another store and although their deliveries are accurate the ordeiring a promotion systems are not as good as Costcutter. the thought of changing symbol groups and all that entails with systems fills me with dread, having been through it before. Spar have already offered a lump sum, but I want to see what Costcutter and he Co-op can bring to the party.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Coop disaster + Costcutter disaster = total disaster.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Disaster ?? Neither the Co-operative Food Group or Costcutter stores are bust, I thought it was Nisa which was bust with unmanageable Debt. What a Disaster that would have been if the Bank had placed the Debt at the doors of the Members to repay. Grateful thanks to the Co-op should be sent for bailing Nisa out..

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Seasurfer, you are seriously confused. Costcutter may not be bust but they are a wholesale company without any logistics capability. Nisa isn't bust, their shareholders are in line for a payout and their lenders money is safe. As for the idea of Nisa members having the debt at their doors, shareholders in a limited company have no liability for the company's debt.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10per page | 20per page

Have your say

These comments have not been moderated.

You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment.

Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments.

If you wish to complain about a comment please use the “report this comment” facility or email groceremails@wrbm.com

Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory

Related images

  • Costcutter Plymouth
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (14)
  • Save
Sign in

Newsletter Sign-up

I wish to receive the following newsletters:

FOLLOW US