Nisa retailers have been left frustrated by availability issues following “unexpected and unnatural demand” for core promotional lines.
Retailers told RN shortages have been ongoing from the middle of December.
Phillip Constantine, of Nisa Hither Green in South London, said he had been left without an average of 30 boxes of goods every week.
“We’ve had shortages since 14 December and it’s been frustrating. Someone at Nisa miscalculated how much supply they’d actually need and we ended up being unable to stock products such as Fairy liquid on promotion at 60p, or the regular pricemark of £1.29,” he said.
Another Nisa retailer, who asked not to be named, said as many as 300 boxes were missing from one of his weekly deliveries. “The delivery included some core lines such as Fairy liquid, tobacco and 750ml bottles of Comfort.
“It was frustrating because they are popular products, but you can’t really blame Nisa because of an increase in demand during Christmas is expected,” he said.
Several retailers said they believed the shortages were due to Nisa’s agreement to supply Costcutter stores following the collapse of Palmer & Harvey, however the company has denied this claim.
Nisa operations director Jonathan Stowe said throughout Christmas demand for products such as Fairy liquid increased nearly 50% on original forecasts. “The month had been more challenging due to the capacity of suppliers to meet much larger than usual Christmas volumes.
“The real impact for Nisa came towards the end of the month with unexpected and unnatural demand for a small number of promotional lines,” Mr Stowe told RN.
“Demand for the promoted Fairy liquid, for example, was far in excess of previous promotions and expectation – up 47% on forecast – and not surprisingly this created a challenge.”
Mr Stowe added availability for stores did not drop below 91%, and levels are set to return to normal.