Nisbets asks suppliers to push back payment terms by 30 days

Nisbets March Catalogue Cover crop
Nisbets has pushed back its payment terms during the coronavirus shutdown.

Nisbets has written to suppliers requesting that payment terms are pushed back by 30 days for any outstanding invoices and future orders.

The letter, signed by group CEO Klaus Goeldenbot and seen by Catering Insight, effectively means suppliers will have to wait another month on top of their usual terms with Nisbets before getting paid.

The Bristol-based company said the business is counting on its “valued suppliers” to continue to provide goods and services that will allow it to avoid disruption to its customers.

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“To enable us to do so effectively, we are requesting that for an interim period we are pushing back payment terms by 30 days for any outstanding invoices and future orders,” he stated. “We value your support with this necessary short-term measure and look forward to building on our long-term growth objectives once the Covid-19 impacts have subsided.”

The amendment of payment terms remains an emotive subject at the moment due to its potential impact on supply chains at a time when they are under most stress.

In the operator market, JD Wetherspoon sparked criticism last week by telling suppliers it wouldn’t settle invoices until its pubs had reopened again.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one Nisbets supplier said it was “furious” at being told it would have to wait an extra 30 days to receive payment on goods already shipped.

“What kind of example does it set when the biggest company in the industry is doing this?” said the supplier.

Another supplier who had received the letter said that once the crisis was over, companies would likely re-evaluate who they do business with, but said it had been contacted by a number of dealers – not just Nisbets – requesting payment flexibility or extended terms during these times.

In the note to suppliers, Nisbets – which made sales of almost £400m in its last financial year – reaffirmed that it is “still very much open for business” and its website is fully trading even though its stores have closed.

However, Goeldenbot said sales have taken a significant hit because of the lockdown measures and it is seeing a reduction of demand in some of its categories.

“Our priority remains to get the business safe through these turbulent times, to take care of our employees, continue to service our key customers and to work closely with our supply chain partners so we can bounce back stronger together in the long-term,” he wrote.

Catering Insight contacted Nisbets but it is unable to comment at this time.

Tags : coronavirusnisbetspaymentpayments
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls


  1. one of our jobs meant to go in over Easter has been put back to the summer. Our fabricator – who had made all the items ready for install – called and asked for our understanding and could we pay him? We’re not huge, we don’t have huge coffers – what we DO have is an understanding of the difficulties other small companies are having. So we dug deep and paid 75% of his bill. THAT’S what looking after the supply chain means and I’m waving the flag for the small businesses who work ethically

  2. Guess it is a case of – if everyone pays their creditors then everyone else can pay their creditors…

  3. Is this for real!

    So first Nisbets request no price increase even though all suppliers are getting battered by the exchange rate post brexit. And now they not want to pay for goods they already shipped out to customers and no doubt already have been paid for.

    Come on Nisbets, be at least a bit more ethical in your dealings. Everyone is struggling right now, you made £27m last year and £113m in retained profits, an owner worth £500m and you can’t afford to pay? Give me a break.
    I guess Mr Nisbet and Mr Martin from Wetherspoons will be sharing a drink on Zoom together tonight concocting a new plan…Shame on you.

  4. Looking after the supply chain and supporting customers and suppliers alike is not akin to making arbitrary decisions such as this . Small businesses and suppliers are expected to agree to bank role a huge concern and say nothing. -the repercussions will be devastating. Even a 50% payment with the remainder paid in 30 days would have been more acceptable.

  5. I think this is the very tip of the iceberg, I’m amazed that Nesbit have only asked for an extra 30 days. I think the norm in many cases will be much longer. I doubt they will be happy to see this news story.
    If the biggest and supposedly most profitable supplier can’t afford to pay there billls imagine what the usual late payers will be like!!
    Credit lines for anything other than government sector from many manufacturers will be stopped in my opinion it’s just unfortunate that many distributors and suppliers will be caught in the middle having already supplied goods throughout the industry in the last month or so.
    Everyone needs to take there head out of the sand, the industry is on a knife edge.

  6. Unbelievable yet again from the Nesbits!!!

    How they can take payment from their customers yet are not willing to pay their suppliers leaves me gobsmacked!
    I hope these same manufacturers who get pooped upon during this sad, dangerous time remember which distributors played ethically, payed on time even though it would be deemed ‘acceptable ‘ to do otherwise and put these honest reliable companies at the front of their queue when it all dies down!
    Nesbits – pffft!

  7. Absolutely Shocking Behaviour ! I guess 11m in the bank doesn’t go that far ! First they refuse ALL price increases then they make all dealers pay up front even with a credit account, on top of agreeing to there 30 day money back guarantee, marketing support, rebates oh and the ‘moon on a stock’ please !! Surley suppliers will now take this last insult and ask the question why do we continue to supply them?

  8. Nisbets are the biggest, wealthiest company in our industry and should be setting an example to everyone and being as ethical as they can be rather than using the smaller suppliers to bankroll them. If they need money, give Andrew Nisbet a call and get him to support the company finances. Nisbets should be ashamed of themselves – yet again.

  9. Next time you call Nisbets, you should ask them how their staff lay-offs are going. Not a great sign.

  10. If a company has resorted to this, it must either be dis-honorable or in difficulty, the best course of action would be to place it on a pro-forma basis.

  11. Did you publish this 24 hours late and it was actually an April fools? It sure seems like a bad joke!

  12. The thing to remember is any sales that go through Nesbit will be paid for 100% online at the moment, the money from your equipment is in the bank. Are you going to continue to supply on extended credit terms acting as a free bank!!
    It’s as simple as that.

  13. Wouldn’t have anything to do with Nisbets again,just take your cash without a clue when your getting the bog roll to wipe your backside or soap to wash your hands,blah blah blah Covid 19,well if you haven’t got any stock for a month at least inform the customer so they can go elsewhere or supply them and theirs with a selection of corks to shove up the offending article

  14. I’ve worked for Nibets in Bristol at their main offices and warehouse. I left in February and this by far is the worst company I ever worked for. Managers never respect employees, promotion are done based on who you know not how hard you work. Their only advantage is that monopoly they have on the catering industry and cheap Chinese outsourcing. They don’t care about employees or customers not to mention clients.

  15. It’s sad that a company the size of Nisbets hasn’t lead by example. Our industry needs a leader, one that stands up and supports the small supplier / designer / project manager. Wait a minute, could that be CEDABOND?
    Nisbets seem to be taking a leaf out of the books written by Branson, Wetherspoons, Sports Direct and the likes. “Keep all of the money your business has made for you and only spend what can be begged or purloinged from other companies or from the taxpayers.. Furlough is for companies who can’t afford to make payments to their staff and, if the company is half decent , it should top up the salary to the yearly average of each employee.. If you’ve got tens of thousands or millions in the bank it’s your moral obligation to use your own money.
    To protect their businesses they should have to do what I and thousands of other businesses have had to do which is SELL SOME OF YOUR ASSETS. (That is the stuff your business allowed you to buy in the good times). I’ve lost faith in a system which allows large companies to grab the tax payers money to save their own money. That’s not what the government set it up for. Mr Nisbet (and other companies similar) – Sort yourself out. Sort your staff. out properly and fairly and tighten your own belt a notch or two before you try to take my pants down!
    Best Regards

  16. Every company is brilliant when trade is doing well however to test an organisations true integrity it is through crisis. As a loyal customer to Nisbets our multi-site venues have enjoyed the cheap rates and quick delivery their business provides..
    It is equally as important to work with organisations that have ethical standards (over price). As a multinational business I would expect a level of supply-chain-management and this simply highlights how bottom line driven their leadership team are. We were NOT offered extended terms and are still required to pay in full within 30-days! Nisbets shouldn’t see this as an opportunity show how much they ‘care’ in a public forum knowing their customers are reading this in complete disagreement. No integrity by their CEO – clearly this is a strategy to protect their profits; not their customers!

  17. Uropa – should also give there suppliers a 30 day deferral , after all its the same Ltd Company afterall .been a uropa customer for many years and even though I paid all be it a day late as was waiting for my suppliers to pay / CV business loan / grants to filter through still got a Legal action letter through the post , Need more communication from Bristol HQ .. one rule for Nisbets another for uropa , same company .. we all need to work together during this Crisis …

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