As we enter our 9th week of lockdown some suppliers are gradually reducing the rationalisation of their ranges, while those on the core growth categories (those that feature heavily in cooking, snacking and home baking) are still fully rationalised due to the continued high volumes, although demand is generally starting to settle down.
Large retailers demand greater visibility of supply but still struggle to understand their own changing demand requirements, as the new normal begins to stabilise
Thank you to Andy Coe from Retail Insight UK who joined us for the 5th virtual covid19 collaboration group meeting last week to provide his personal insights on how retailers are reacting to the pandemic.
Thank you to all those suppliers who contributed again this week as we start to progress from crisis to planning to establish the rules of the new norm. Supplier stocks situation are beginning to recover for many lines. However, with ‘The Big Trolley Shop’ returning and near-doubled on-line shopping from store, promotions on the key growth categories are simply encouraging cupboard-stocking on the products and brands on offer, which are already selling 20-30% more than normal.
Thank you for the continued support this week and welcome PepsiCo, LRS and Oatly to the group. Chilled suppliers reported that they are seeing some demand stabilisation on the key volume lines, although volumes are still higher than previous. Retailers are actively collaborating on forecasts and resuming planning routines for promotions and range reviews.
We are all aware of the intensely critical role our NHS and frontline workers are playing during this period of uncertainty and at this week’s virtual meeting, one supplier reported on how they are trying to help support our care workers to help keep spirits up.
A further 10 suppliers joined our regular contributors this week where our discussions embraced the issues surrounding employee wellbeing as well as the usual supply and demand challenges.
With panic buying over and availability much improved, the grocery sector is starting to settle into a ‘new normal’ with social distancing smoothing shopping patterns through the day and week, and promoting top-up rather than big trolley shops.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic Simply Supply Chain have organised virtual weekly supplier meetings to enable fellow Chilled and Ambient suppliers to share their challenges, frustrations, opportunities and successes with like-minded peers, to develop and share best-practice and understand common practice on the issues arising from managing the impact of COVID-19, within the supply chain (Customer Fulfillment).
Cash is king, especially for small suppliers during this current coronavirus crisis. Retailers are swimming in cash as a result of the massive increase in sales due to the outbreak. Fueled by panic-buying, and with the £3bn rate holiday to come, they can afford and need to be generous to the smallest suppliers, who are the most vulnerable during any extended period of uncertainty.
With plenty to build upon from last year, February’s Customer Supply Group meeting got off to a positive start with both old and new members fully engaged with key projects running for 2020. Thank you to @molsoncoors for hosting our first meeting and, along with our regular members, we were delighted to welcome @pladis, @PZCuzzons, @Tate&Lyle @kpsnacks.