News & Insights

Retailers working together to save smaller suppliers and manage demand

By Jonathan Kittow on 26/03/20 17:12 |


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.

Tesco has slashed the length of payment terms to small suppliers to try to help them cope with a cash flow crisis and has confirmed it would shorten the period of payment terms from 14 to five days, “with immediate effect”. Morrisons has introduced "immediate payments" in a bid to prevent this group of suppliers going under. A spokesman from Morrisons commented "We're aiming to help them through the next weeks and months," he said. "We want to help local producers, farmers, and fishermen during an uncertain time."

But how will the major retailers continue to supply...

For major retailers to most urgent challenge is to fill shelves, slimming product ranges to focus on the staple products they can re-supply most quickly, increasing deliveries to store and filling shelves quickly to ensure the vulnerable, elderly and key-workers have a better chance of getting the products they need – early opening appears to be as much a gimmick as practical, for many key workers have shifts that start before their allotted hour in-store, but retailers who continue to listen and adapt their strategies over the coming days and weeks will help pull us through to a stable supply position more quickly...if we stop stripping the shelves.

Jonathan Kittow of Simply Supply Chain comments, "Preserving our social distancing and topping up only when we need it will leave those less fortunate able to get the supplies they need, when they are able to – let's show the same generosity of spirit that our retailers are showing the smaller suppliers." #everylittle helps

Supply Chain Coronovirus Customer Demand Small Suppliers