Four store owners contacted RN last week to complain about a severe drop in Mars Wrigley rep visits. This resulted in lost monthly credit payments that were promised for following the confectionery company’s planograms.

Kalpesh Pau, owner of Parson Cross Post Office in Sheffield, said: “We have not had a visit for over a year now and last time they were here, they only backdated for one month even after coming after five months.” The retailer claimed the company responded: “It’s your rewards, not your right.”

Rasmi Panchal of Fresh ‘n’ Frozen in Manchester added: “I’m not sure Wrigley reps even exist anymore.” A survey by RN revealed 29% of retailers receive at least four visits per year from Mars Wrigley. Nearly 38% said they no longer receive any visits.

One retailer advised: “Do a range review and de-list any confectionery product that is not doing well, even if it is a must-have on any scheme. Remember – profits are in your pocket, not on the shelf.”

Joanne Alvarado, Mars Wrigley Confectionery field sales director, told RN: “We’re really sorry to hear this feedback from a small number of our retail partners. Of the tens of thousands of retailers we call on nationwide, the vast majority receive a visit at least every 12 weeks. 

“Independent stores are a vital part of our retail network and, in the rapidly changing retailer landscape, we are constantly looking for ways to better serve and support them.

“We invest heavily in ‘feet on the street’ to provide range and category advice to help grow confectionery sales for independent retailers.”

More recent news: Stores named and shamed for “deliberate” tax misstatements