Costcutter has pushed back the scheduled delivery slots for ambient products by a day and changed its deadlines for retailers to place orders.

Ambient orders will now be delivered to retailers three days from ordering, instead of two days later. In a message sent to retailers on 27 March and seen by betterRetailing, the symbol group’s CEO Darcy Willson-Rhymer said the decision was “essential for maintaining the stability of the network” during the coronavirus outbreak.

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“We know this change impacted all retailers, as did the change to order cut off times, but I hope you also appreciate that drastic action such as this was essential for maintaining the stability of the network. At all times, Costcutter has received equitable share of Nisa’s stock.”

The cut-off times for ordering chilled and frozen has been switched from 12pm to 10:30am, while retailers are required to order ambient products by 2.30pm instead of 4pm.

As part of its supply deal with Nisa, Costcutter’s delivery network is served by logistics specialist DHL.

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Willson-Rhymer added that, due to Primark and Wetherspoons closing their pubs and stores as part of government guidelines to tackle the coronavirus epidemic, DHL has given spare depot capacity to Nisa.

He said: “You should also know that both Nisa and their delivery partner, DHL, have taken other extreme measures on your behalf to deal with the availability issues.

“As you would expect, everyone within the depots who wasn’t working on inbound and outbound deliveries was moved to picking and extra capacity added.

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“This is making a difference not just in terms of improving availability but also keeping people in work.”

Other measures by Costcutter included cancelling the delivery of slower selling lines and providing alternative products to high-selling lines in short supply. 

“We increased the volume of Co-op own brand pasta when Napolina was unable to supply, and alternative products and brands for anti-bacterial and bleach products,” Willson-Rhymer said.

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