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inconvenience. We, as retailers are faced with two options. Accept responsibility and come to some sort of agreeable solution for the customer, at our expense or refund the customer and watch them leave the store to purchase elsewhere (not that this is an option due to stock issues for us all). On top of this impact on our bottom line we then face the high likelihood of the customer taking to social media to tell the world how we took their money and didn’t get their goods in time, the cost of this alone outweighs the actual cost of setting things right. So who is responsible? And who should be footing the bill? If I’m honest the answer to this question has eluded me for the past 2 or 3 weeks. At the end of the day we are all someone else’s customer. For us retailers to take the brunt of the cost seems highly unfair. I guess for me I simply want support from our brands. Don’t get me wrong I’d love some monetary support but I’d settle for a social media post : “Dear Mr & Mrs Due Next week, we are sorry we are unable to send your goods to your retailer but we are out of stock. The reason we are out of stock is because the world has been turned upside down and sadly it is now affecting your life. We, nor the retailer set out to deceive you, upset you or string you along. We gave your retailer

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companies didn’t have enough vessels to cope. As far as Mr and Mrs customer are concerned they gave you an order and now you don’t have their goods and baby is just weeks away. This customer is looking for someone to blame. Why wouldn’t they? It’s not their fault their goods either won’t be here on time or they’ll arrive much closer to their due date than they wanted. At the end of the day they ordered their goods in plenty of time the moment lockdown was lifted. All the stock reports for the goods they ordered showed no issues for their due date – yet here we are. No goods and an angry customer that wants someone to blame. Are they going to blame the manufacturer? Nope, after all they didn’t place the order with them. The book is going to stop with us the retailer and this puts us in a VERY awkward situation. We are responsible for that customers order. They have trusted us with ensuring we get them every thing they need for their new arrival and we are having to let them down. No matter how we spin it we are responsible for completing their order and we are unable to do so. Some customers will invariably insist on either a replacement item without any additional cost to them or compensation for the delay and

information about stock that meant they took your order in good faith. This information has turned out to be inaccurate and we are doing everything we can to get your goods to your retailer as quickly as we can. We are sorry – please be kind to your retailer�. At the end of the day neither us nor the brand are to blame but we should be sharing the responsibility in

the interest of building and protecting our relationship. I’m sure every one of you will be keeping a list of the cost of stock issues and you’ll no doubt be discussing this with your brands in due course. Thankfully the NSG has been there helping many of us out – so to everyone on the NSG that has helped out another store . . . .THANK YOU!

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nursery today 27

Profile for Lema Publishing

Nursery Today October 2020  

Nursery Today October 2020