Nisa retailers are to have ambient orders for 31 July and 1-2 August cancelled as a measure to help the wholesaler’s delivery network return to “a more normal service.”

The symbol group, who is experiencing delivery issues due to the national driver shortage, is taking the decision to “intervene” on ambient orders, leading to cancellation on the deliveries. In a letter sent to retailers, and seen by betterRetailing, Nisa said: “We have taken steps to try and enable a return to a more normal service and minimise the impact, they have not had the necessary effect and the network is not recovering in the way we need it to.

“Consequently, we now must take further steps and have made the difficult decision to intervene on certain ambient orders placed for delivery on Saturday 31 July, Sunday 1 August and Monday 2 August to help us restore the network, enabling better service and increased volume from Tuesday onwards.

“We do not take this decision lightly because we know the impact it will have on you and your business; however, we need to do this to re-set the network and return to required levels.”

Nisa added it anticipates the challenges to remain some time and will continue to cap ambient orders over the coming weeks. The firm has also temporarily moved the deadline for chilled orders

“We’re pleased to inform you that we plan to return freeze orders to the normal schedule during next week but to do so we will need your support and ask that you only order your usual levels to allow the volume to settle. We will however continue to manage volume to ensure it remains within our physical capacity.”

The symbol group said it was also working more closely with suppliers to ensure its operations and overall service are not help up by late deliveries.

Commenting on the restrictions, a Nisa spokesperson said: “Across the UK, driver shortages and the need to isolate are impacting supply chains and the delivery of goods.

“We are working with our suppliers, logistics colleagues and Nisa partners to ensure we keep delivering stock in these challenging circumstances, and we have taken additional action to help over the longer term.  We are in regular communication with our partners to keep them aware of any delivery changes.”

One senior industry source added: “The whole industry has problems at the moment, but this sounds like Nisa is taking short term pain, for the longer-term gain.”

UPDATE:

The cancellations over the weekend have had a knock-on effect on stores. Mike Sohal, of Dallam Stores in Warrington, told betterRetailing: “I’m going through every single invoice which adds two hours of extra work. I can’t see any credit notes so far. It means I have to wait and wait and they could deny the credit note.

“They don’t realise it’s a snowball effect and they don’t understand how much extra work it creates. It’s okay for them to say we won’t get a delivery, but we have to make sure we get the credit back.”

Another retailer reported waiting more than half an hour to speak to Nisa customer service about the issues, while others have refused to display PoS notifying customers of the availability shortages.