Independent retailers are being landed with an increase in bills and minimum delivery terms as rising fuel prices bite into the profits of delivered wholesalers.
AF Blakemore has defended a decision to introduce a four-fold increase in the minimum chilled foods order it will accept on its delivered wholesale business.
Rising fuel costs have also forced Nisa-Today’s and Key Lekkerland to impose price rises for certain types of delivery. Nisa is asking for a 1% increase for deliveries across the board, while Key Lekkerland has added a £10 surcharge for new customers whose order size falls below its minimum delivery.
AF Blakemore group MD Peter Blakemore said a rise in the minimum order from 20 to 80 packs had been forced on the wholesaler by the rise in fuel costs and the burden of the Working Time Directive. He said: “We are spending £18,000 a week more on fuel than in the same period last year.”
Blakemore claimed the new terms would only impact on around 180 of the 5,500 deliveries made each week.
One Spar retailer supplied by Blakemore said: “This rise has certainly not been agreed by me or by any of the other Spar members I know.”
Blakemore said the vast majority of retailers were happy with the new arrangements.
Ronan Hegarty