I normally try to put a positive spin on things, add a little bit of humour but, you know, I just can’t be bothered this month.
There was a flurry of activity before Youngsters called in the receivers with companies trying to find ways of salvaging their money, and who can blame them? I know I would have done the same in their position. However, asking a Youngsters member to pay direct knowing full well that the receiver will also come looking for the money is unfair.
The aggressive nature of some of the letters received by members requesting payment direct or stock details has been very upsetting for them. I guess it is an unusual receivership in so much the members still have to carry on. Normally a company goes bust and that’s it, but in this case the members still have to trade.
I had a rep the other day say, that it didn’t bother me, that I hadn’t lost anything. I soon put him right. Every time I hear of the losses some of these companies have had, some of the smaller suppliers who have traditionally done well with Youngsters members, some of them who, after years of doing okay, suddenly have a line that makes years of hard work seem worthwhile, to hear these suppliers have incurred losses through Youngsters going down leaves me feeling sick in the gut.
I know it’s hard for some to believe nowadays but some of us retailers care about our suppliers, after all we are nothing without them.
I do care about those who have lost jobs. I do care about the smaller members who will find trading even more difficult through no fault of their own are having to trade through the toughest retail conditions for years without the terms and benefits they require.
So where do the indies go now? Suppliers I’ve talked to are split into two camps, one half saying they only want one buying group, and the other half saying competition is a good thing and they would like to see two. With two other offers on the table as well as Toymaster at least Youngsters members do have some options, let’s just hope for the good of the indies that the support continues from those who have lost money.