Morrisons has closed the wholesale accounts of independent retailers due to the national driver shortage.
In a message sent to a number of affected retailers, and seen by betterRetailing, the supermarket said all scheduled orders from 18 June will be cancelled, but promised a “new exciting offer in the coming months.”
Morrisons said: “Unfortunately due to the current national driver shortage we are facing as a nation, we have made the tough decision to prioritise and protect the supply to our contracted customers with effect from 18 June.
“This means we will be closing your account under these terms and all orders due to be delivered from 18 June will be cancelled.
“We will however, be returning with a new exciting offer in the coming months.”
Commenting on the cancellations, Morrisons confirmed to betterRetailing fewer than 10 “ad hoc” customers were impacted. It added: “Due to the national driver shortage, we’re prioritising our contracted customers and have temporarily suspended sales for a very small number – fewer than ten – of our ad-hoc customers.
“We’re working hard with our partners to resolve this as soon as we can. This doesn’t affect any of our other services to food banks, charities, local authorities and wholesalers, as well as contracted wholesale customers.”
The company began offering wholesale agreements to independent retailers in January, adding to existing contracts with the McColl’s chain. Morrisons also signed an agreement to supply wholesale members of Unitas.
Booker, Nisa and Eden Farm Hulleys have also faced availability issues caused by the national driver shortage. Brexit, covid and the reopening of hospitality have been blamed as contributors to the issue, with Euro 2020 and the UK heatwave adding to the strain.
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