What do the multinational companies, whose brands RN readers support and stock to the tune of billions of pounds a year, do with all the money they make from the convenience sector? Contingency planning clearly isn’t one. I had a very interesting conversation about the referendum with the sales manager for Scotland of one of the biggest FMCG companies operating in the UK earlier today.
“I don’t think anybody thought it would be this close,” he candidly admitted, before expanding that as far as he was aware (and he is Scotland’s sales manager, so surely would be) there are no plans for how his company will react to a “yes” vote.
Of course, the model of how many companies — including P&G, Philip Morris and PepsiCo — work with offices covering both the UK and Ireland, would likely be used to integrate an independent Scotland into existing operations.
Yet, senior figures in FMCG companies often admit that it can be hard for them to adapt to relatively minor changes in the industry. Would every supplier Scottish retailers currently count on be fleet-footed enough to ensure a seamless transition to independence for retailers?
If the answer is “no” then Alex Sammond and the “yes” campaign shouldn’t take all the blame if chaos ensues after independence: unready corporations should have been planning for all eventualities many months ago.
Do you think suppliers are prepared for a possible ‘yes’ vote? Let us know below.