It saddens me to see another of our national refrigeration contractors fail in their duty in keeping the jobs of so many of our brethren alive.
However, before you all get on your high horse and start blaming the supermarkets for their demise, I would urge you to look within the industry as a whole, before singling out one specific company or persons for their downfall.
WR’s troubles over the past few years have been well documented by all involved with the company. And whether it’s those internally or its business partners, they all have to have a good look at themselves.
All the retailers involved must have known that their service provider was in serious trouble, maybe not to the tune of £60m, but then again, what is a few million between friends?
Having tried to look from a retailer’s perspective and see that just dumping them would not have helped WR’s situation, leaving all concerned with a limited amount of people to provide a service to them, they allowed them to carry on getting themselves into more trouble. And not just affect the livelihood of the staff at WR, but the livelihood of all the suppliers and subcontractors involved on the day to day activities of WR.
See, here’s the thing, retailers never lose money out of it, as they know that someone will step in and try to make it work and do it cheaper.
But the real blame lies with the top brass of WR and its parent company.
Right up to the last day of trading they were buying materials and giving orders to subcontractors, making it look as if all was well. Having spoken to people on the ground, not from the lofty heights of the board room, it appears that they were economical with the truth and when push came to shove, they folded their cards as the hand of economics trumped them hands down.
I have been in this industry since I was 16 and worked for most service providers – Botts, Linde, NRC, Hussmann, for example, although before you ask, I don’t collect fridge companies.
They have struggled all to make a wholly viable business within the demands of retailers. I have said it before and will continue saying it, we need to work together because we need each other and cannot exist without each other.
Otherwise, whose turn will it be next?.
Anonymous Fridge Guy works as a contractor in the supermarket refrigeration sector