from Name and address supplied
Sir;It was interesting to read Kevin Hunt's letter on his frustration at margin erosion (The Grocer, October 5, p30).
Having worked for several smaller non blue chip manufacturers supplying wholesalers, independent retailers and supermarkets for the last 20 years, and, although I deeply sympathise with the plight of the independent, I believe retailers (and wholesalers) have only themselves to blame by taking the easy option of believing the Stock only our products and we will increase your profits' hype!
Allowing brand domination to 50% or above in any category, accepting the open ended marketing cheques, and believing in the supposedly unbiased category management, which the super brands willingly supply, is folly.
A good retailer, especially the beaten up independent, should balance his margin by introducing and promoting products that provide a quality alternative and provide the high margins they need to survive (they are out there, believe me) alongside the brand leading low margin offerings.
The huge multinationals are driven by profit for shareholders alone, and are able to dictate their terms even with the all-powerful supermarkets.
Retailers should take a step back, remove the blinkers and think about developing their own profits, not those of the multinational corporations.