Retailers have hit back at milkshake provider, f’real for rejecting their applications requesting a machine without explanation.
A message seen by Better Retailing, and sent out to failed applicants states they were unsuccessful after no meeting “key criteria”.
“Our selection process considers key criteria which must be met for a site or location to progress,” it read. “We supply our blending equipment on a free-on-loan basis, so we must ensure a sustainable investment for both parties.
“Regrettably, after careful consideration, your application did not meet the requirements set and therefore will not be progressed any further.”
One retailer, who wishes to remain anonymous, said they missed out despite being told they were a “perfect candidate”.
“We did so much work prior to Covid-19 to accommodate the machine into our designated food to go area,” they said. “Everything was in the pipeline, but we were told ten working days after submitting our application online that we had been rejected without explanation.”
Another retailer said they were given “no reason” as to why they hadn’t been successful.
The news comes 24-hours after successful candidates were told to expect installation delays of up to 20 weeks, following supply chain issues brought upon by Covid-19.
Owner of f’Real Richs‘ sales, marketing and R&D director UK, John Want told Better Retailing: “After carefully analysing our historical registration process and current capacity for machines, on 19 April we launched a new online process and invited retailers to register their interest to become a f’real partner. We were pleased to be inundated with responses, further demonstrating the popularity and success of the brand within the convenience channel.
“We value every retailer that gets in touch and wants to work with us, however we have a detailed criteria that each store must match in order for us to work with them – for the benefit of both businesses.
“The f’real package is a significant investment for us and each store, so we look at a number of factors before accepting or declining any registration. This includes; a look at the customer base of each store and whether it matches our target demographic of young adults, whether the store will be able to meet our daily cup sale target and finally whether it is a genuine ‘drink to go’ destination, complementing other hot and chilled branded drinks they already stock.
“Having said that, we appreciate that stores continually evolve their offer and retailers are always welcome to reapply if their store offer changes.
“With regards to the delays, our team is working around the clock to fulfil all stores on our waiting list as soon as possible. As with many other FMCG companies right now, we are facing a global supply issue for machine parts and so we are supplying all retailers with a realistic lead time. Of course if anything changes we will contact every customer individually to organise a quicker fitting.”