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'We as an industry are weak'


Dear Jason, Where I think Lucan Lord is bang on is in his assessment of the way that refrigeration businesses then and now are sucked in by the "golden carrot" dangled in front of them by supermarkets. I've seen and experienced this myself first hand. You start doing a limited number of stores for them at a reasonable return and everything is wonderful. They offer you more stores and you have to invest more outlay in personnel, vans, stock and so on. Inevitably, this also has an impact on your previous customer base because of the attention that the supermarkets require. Then, the reductions start. Reduced maintenance fees, unrealistic breakdown response times and so on. Ultimately, when you are run ragged, earning a pittence, carrying a massive overdraft they decide that you are no longer of any use to them because another company is prepared to offer them a better deal at £1.00 per hour cheaper, or a gross margin of 5% instead of 7%. This, whether you like it or not is the reality in dealing with supermarkets. I dont know the name of your company (my use of the term "other side" was made because I felt that you appeared so supportive of supermarkets that perhaps you worked for one) and if you are indeed a supermarket refrigeration contractor then don't think you will be there forever! The likes of "Botts" did (with a particularly ruthless retailer) and disappeared virtually overnight. If that makes me a "frog in a hole" too, then I'm happy with that!

Posted date

8 January, 2014

Posted time

2:19 pm