Nisa has altered its existing stock allocation policy, with some retailers claiming it has forced them to purchase high volumes of ‘low- or zero-demand’ lines.

Previously, partnered stores received small volumes of ‘allocated’ stock which they had to purchase. Stores told betterRetailing that Nisa had increased the allocation volumes for each store size to ‘optimise’ sales at each location. They claimed different stores were being assigned different allocated lines.

In a message to stores, sent to betterRetailing, Nisa confirmed: “We recently introduced a new process to review allocations cross-functionally, ahead of those being confirmed to partners. This involves vetting by the trading support, marketing and retail team colleagues.

“The key objective when determining quantities to be allocated by store size is to try to optimise the sales potential of each of the products featured, for partners as well as for Nisa.”

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More than a dozen Nisa stores complained about the change being used to assign high allocations of slow-selling lines such as Coca-Cola Energy, in a move described as “warehouse clearing” by one retailer.

Midlands retailer Rav Garcha said eight cases of the line were automatically added to his order.

“The products we’re getting sent are to be discounted and placed in the dump bins as a way of encouraging customers to buy them. 

“But who wants a product like Coca-Cola Energy or Purdey’s Energy Drink? These are products we’ve not seen any demand for at the full price,” he said. 

“I’ve been hearing the cost prices to us for these products are also much cheaper from rival wholesalers, as well.”

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One anonymous Nisa retailer said they had received allocated Coca-Cola Energy at £9.29 per case while the same case was available for just £1.92 from a rival wholesaler. Oppositely, Nisa was praised by some stores for providing allocations of free stock of other ‘slow-selling’ lines such as Cadbury’s Dairy Milk 30% Less Sugar.

Amit Puntambekar, of Nisa Ash’s Shop in Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire, added: “Some retailers have received stock they can’t sell. I’ve escaped this because I’ve been allocated lines such as Smarties Bar which I have demand for.”

Garcha initially asked for the eight cases of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar sent to him as part of the allocation to be returned. He said Nisa had added a return fee of £1 per case, but the wholesaler eventually agreed to waive the cost.

“Another eight cases were added to my next order as well, but Nisa said they would resolve this. I had to ring Nisa from each of my shops to resolve the problem.”

Nisa was unable to comment as RN went to print.

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