Retailers more satisfied with suppliers but some still complain of ‘awful service’

Retailers are generally positive about their suppliers, however some are complaining about ‘awful service, supply issues and a complete lack of communication’.

A recent kbbreview Insight 2023 survey that polled retailers across the UK found that 77% of respondents rated the service they get from their suppliers as average or good.

Despite those high numbers, some retailers are not happy with their service, with 14% saying their supplier service is poor. A quarter also said that the service they are receiving is actually getting worse.

As many are dissatisfied with their suppliers some retailers are taking action and 26% admitted they are considering changing their main suppliers in 2023.

However, compared with July of this year, the rate of retailers wanting to change suppliers has gone down as 67% of the bathroom retailers and 61% of the kitchen retailers told us they were considering a change.

Looking at reasons to change supplier now, part of the reason is to optimise their competitiveness, reduce costs and protect themselves against lower internet prices.

One retailer even went as far as saying they are considering moving suppliers because of “awful service, supply issues and a complete lack of communication”.

“Suppliers all seem to be struggling,” one retailer said. “Some of it’s down to poor investment decisions following the pandemic, in my opinion.”

Another retailer said: “I’m not sure anyone has the confidence in their own supply chains and so suppliers are being very cautious and staffing levels have plummeted since Covid.”

In his column in the kbbreview Insights 2023 feature, Richard Hibbert, national chair of KBSA, provides some advice to suppliers and retailers. He said: “Many of the supply issues that we have experienced are improving as manufacturers develop solutions and new ways of working.

“Developing close relationships will enable retailers and suppliers to work together, not against. Maintaining clear lines of communication, will alleviate unknown bottlenecks and allow for better planning and happier customers.”

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