A huge debate on social media has broken out after a dealer reported that a Nisbets catalogue was included in a customer delivery shipped through the group’s wholesale arm, Uropa Distribution.
Writing on LinkedIn, Caterfix MD Ajaz Akhtar posted that Nisbets had slipped its catalogue “into the customer packaging when we have a product delivered directly to our customer, from an order we placed with Nisbets.”
This prompted a deluge of comments, with some claiming that the Nisbets group was trying to win business off dealers who are using its wholesale division, while others defended the company and believed the catalogue insertion was simply a mix-up.
Caterfix’s Akhtar later responded: “I have since spoken to Nisbets who assure me that the catalogue was put into the packaging by mistake and not a general promotional policy. That’s reassuring to know.”
However, some dealers remained sceptical, with a General Catering Ltd representative posting: “I bet a lot of ‘mistakes’ are made regularly then.” Others, including Paul Hoogenbosch, international chain account manager at Eloma, claimed it was “common practice”.
Subsequently, Nicholas Harmston, MD at We Can Source It, said: “They do it all the time whenever they are supposed to ship under plain label. I never direct ship to customers using them anymore. Also, about a week after a direct delivery a sales rep ‘randomly’ pops into our customer’s site on a sales visit.”
There was support demonstrated for Nisbets though, with some respondents feeling it was “too easy to pick on Nisbets”, while Graham Stone, owner of Catering Resources, commented: “I worked for RB Distributors [Uropa Distribution’s former name] for 10 years and agree that this is unintentional. Not only that, but from the delivery note they can tell who the packer was so they can be retrained.”
Consultant Steve Wooldridge agreed, posting: “Trust me, having worked at Nisbets for nearly 10 years, this would be totally unintentional. The thousands and thousands of packages the leave the Nisbets warehouses on a daily basis, all are supposed to have an up-to-date Nisbets catalogue included in the box.
“However, you are right as a wholesaler you would hope that Nisbet catalogue would be omitted, but to repeat, this would not be intentional or underhand by Nisbets, just quite simply a mistake.”
Nisbets did not wish to add any comment when contacted by Catering Insight, with a spokesperson saying that the original LinkedIn poster had already clarified that a mistake had occurred.