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Anonymous Fridge Guy: Stores and fridge firms need each other

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

Readers' comments (4)

  • Fully agree with what you say - but will the boys at the running WR still be still in there high payed job most likely - as there always seem to come out on top - never there fault .They forget we're they come from if they ever had a fridge background as it's the engineers are doing the work not the monkeys in the office pulling the strings

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  • I agree with the points in your piece.
    Sad to say all the "people at the top" from WR have got nice new jobs!!!!

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  • Let's go back to October 2013 at RAC awards and WR won their awards did the management know then what was happening . Most likely just having another night out on the company racking up some more debt - that bit of glass they won not worth nothing now just another door stop you wouldn't even find it on bargain hunt .Lets see who's next to fall at the hurdle these companies can not carry on what they are dong they are making the lives of there engineers hell . They are pushing the majority of install / commissioning engineers to be self employed so they can use and abuse as they like . Then the service engineers are just sold with the service contract as it passed from contractor to contractor by the retailer

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  • Feel free to call me woefully optimistic, but I cant believe that anyone would be able to sit through the whole Awards night in full knowledge that their company was going under. Thats why I still think that the managers were pretty much as surprised as everyone when the plug was finally pulled - WR had been trading with big debts for a long time and everyone i suspect thought they could still trade their way out of it..
    But as well as that Cooling Award, what will become of the historical bits and pieces, those relating to Wathes etc? There must be a lot of stuff that a museum would be interested in.

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