Palmer & Harvey McLane and Unwins denied a possible split. But one store manager said: “Unwins is in the process of changing supplier. They say they’re sorting out the problem, but we have hardly any sweets or cigarettes.”
Another spoke of “a few supplier issues”. Others complained of low levels of cigarettes and chocolate countlines, but said they could make up the difference from nearby Unwins stores. Some managers admitted they had suffered problems, but said these were being ironed out.
Unwins sales and marketing director Ian McLernon dismissed talk of changing suppliers as “tittle tattle”.
He said: “Our main supplier is P&H and we have a good relationship with them.”
Unwins said last week that it was ditching tobacco brands such as BAT’s Lucky Strike and Gallaher’s Camel.