Retailers at IGD’s Wholesaling event yesterday criticised suppliers for a lack of communication and called for them to increase their trade activity.

According to retailers at the event, online merchandising advice from suppliers wasn’t enough to substitute the decrease in rep visits many have seen.

James Walton, chief economist at IGD, said: “The lack of communication up and down the supply chain is a real problem.”

Linda Sood, owner of Falcon Convenience Store (Premier) in Portsmouth, said that retailers can be in danger of not knowing enough about the products they sell.

“There are so many vaping products on the market, but there’s not enough training from manufacturers. This means retailers are selling those products without really knowing what they’re selling,” she said.

Suppliers at the event acknowledged that retailer feedback is helpful for steering brands in the right direction.

Nick Dawson, sales director at Kellogg’s, said: “We launched new packaging for Crunchy Nut, but the packaging could have been for any product and it confused shoppers.”

Retail Express spoke to Martin Williams, managing director of Landmark Wholesale, who urged retailers to give feedback to their suppliers.

“It’s important for retailers to be really honest,” he said. “We need to give retailers what they want so don’t just tell us what you think we might want to hear.”