There’s a word going around just now that’s painfully familiar to those of us of a certain age but is probably a new bit of vocab for younger people: ‘inflation’.
If you need an explanation of what inflation is, what causes it and its consequences, take a look at a very informative article on the BBC, here
. If you don’t have time for that, take it from me that economists seldom, if ever, see periods of inflation as ‘good things’.
We’re all feeling it. Prices in the supermarket are going up, not to mention fuel, electricity, centre-forwards… just about everything, in fact.
Yes, just as stock levels are beginning to improve – unless, of course, you’re a supplier from another planet who can’t seem to find chocolate bars anywhere – comes this new issue to contend with.
Normally, when a price is nudged up, we’ll do our level best to absorb the increase. If we don’t have to charge you more, we won’t. It’s one of the ways in which we stay ahead of the game.
But with ongoing shenanigans such as they are, we can’t hope to take these multiple hits on our own. We’ll have to share the load. Off the top of my head, Britvic is a case in point. They are now applying increases in the high double digits to our invoices. And Britvic are not alone, it’s a bit unfair that I’ve singled them out, to be honest, but as an example, it demonstrates what we’re up against across the board.
We mustn’t think it’s the end of the world, although that’s an easy trap to fall into. I can’t remember who it was that said this to me, but it’s stuck in my head for years, all the same: ‘There are no such things as problems, only opportunities.’ With the public facing price rises from every quarter, might there be a case for operators to build a little bit more margin into their selling prices? Just a thought…
Finally, and as a ‘by-the-way’, some of our suppliers are a tad frustrated with us for telling you straight when there are supply issues. They’re simply trying to avoid embarrassment and I sympathise with that. But rest assured, we won’t stop calling it as we see because, as always, we’re in this together and we’ll see it through together.
Meanwhile, back to work.
*John Crichton is CEO of the specialist wholesaler to the vending industry, Automatic Retailing Northern(ARN)
More of John’s opinions and observations can be found HERE on Planet Vending