caution, sign, accident, retailingOver the last few weeks we’ve been faced with one challenge after another. First a display chest freezer broke down, then our electricity metre stopped working. This was followed by the drain pump from our 5 metre chilled display cabinet and most recently our CCTV computer failing.

OK, the freezer was 20 years old and reached the end of its life, but it was a real problem finding a replacement near enough to the original freezers dimensions. We got frustrated with our investigations on the internet and eventually ordered a replacement through the company that provides us with servicing of our refrigeration plant.

Next, the freezing December temperatures caused the chiller cabinet sump pump to burn out as the pipe to the drain froze solid and the water had nowhere to go. We have now changed the way that the cabinet drains the water that it captures. Last year we also suffered with this problem that caused some of our floor tiles to come unstuck. Being aware of the issue we were able to avoid that problem this winter.

When I discovered that our electricity meter had malfunctioned I contacted our supplier, EDF and they made an appointment for one of the engineers to replace their defective meter. Unfortunately this was on one the bad weather days in December so got cancelled. We are now waiting for a new appointment to be made and have been advised that we will lose supply for around 30 minutes to allow the new meter to be installed. Then of course we will have to discuss our unmetered power usage and come to an agreement with the supplier.

The last problem was with our CCTV system. We installed our system seven years ago using a PC to drive it. It has worked well for us with recordings being used as evidence in the prosecution of the men that broke into our shop in October 2009 being a high point. As the cameras and wiring are still working well we just purchased an X Vision 16 camera Professional H264 DVR. We were without CCTV for only one day and being a newer system it has improved functionality.

Having a series of problems follow one another as we have recently is not that unusual, but goes to illustrate that day-to-day store management can throw up some unexpected challenges.