Tuesday, March 20, 2012

David Ross (Ross Outdoors) tells it like it is

David Ross has commented on an a Gurn article published recently. We think it worthy of being highlighted as a post in its own right as it demonstrates the obstacles that many small businesses must face at this point in time in a rapidly changing retail world.

Chilly economic wind blowing down the brae?

TO CLARIFY OUR SITUATION. Yes, the current economic climate is not good for small specialist shop keepers like ourselves, but we were prepared to tighten our belts and ride it out! However, the manufacturers and distributors who supply our goods are NOT prepared to do the same, and demand that we order £5,000 (trade cost ex VAT) of goods a year, or they close the account!! Some are even saying £5,000 twice a year ordered 10months in advance!!! These are companies that we have dealt with regularly for over 8yrs, and paid within 2weeks! We deal with over 20 manufacturers and distributors, so this soon adds up and becomes impossible!!!!!

We have tried to find goods of the type and quality that our customers expect, but have not found a suitable manufacturer, or distributor, who is not starting to enforce the above conditions!! With Nairn being an IV postcode we are also penalised by having to order minimum amounts of goods (up to £750) before they deliver to us!!

We have never “just relied on Nairn” for our customers! For certain brands we are the only Industrial Rope Access & Arboricultural equipment specialist in the North of Scotland, dealing with Cairngorm Mtn., The Scottish School of Forestry, & Perth Council, to name but a few!!!!

I did not take the decision (to close) lightly, having put 13yrs of my life into Ross Outdoors Ltd.!! I have steadily built up a reputation for quality and service, and the company is financially viable! The policy of the shop was to offer a wide range of quality items, this is now, unfortunately, no longer possible!!!

I would also like to thank our customers for their support over the years. I have been overwhelmed by all the people who have been coming into the shop saying they are sorry to see Ross Outdoors Ltd., and all it stood for, close.


David A. Ross (Director)

Update: Now in the P&J:

"He said Nairn’s ‘IV’ postcode also penalised his business as it comes with a demand for a minimum order of goods to assure delivery, and that no politician had dealt with the unfair delivery system." More here.


Anonymous said...

An interesting insight into the trials and tribulations of a small trader in the current economic climate.

Anonymous said...

Yes an interesting insight we really need to understand more about the way things work.

Ross Outdoors Ltd. said...

“Steve Roberts, managing director of The Mountain Boot Company, said: “Despite our company offering a portfolio of brands, weekly stock flow and subsidised carriage levels to the Highlands and islands, Ross Outdoors achieved purchases of less than £20 in 2011."

The Press & Journal did NOT check this statement with us as it is factually incorrect!

The facts are as follows;

Invoice totals of goods paid for inc VAT

Financial year 1st April 2003– 31st March 2004 = £1,210.90
Financial year 1st April 2004– 31st March 2005 = £2,162.40
Financial year 1st April 2005– 31st March 2006 = £1,999.28
Financial year 1st April 2006– 31st March 2007 = £1,201.42
Financial year 1st April 2007– 31st March 2008 = £ 754.54
Financial year 1st April 2008– 31st March 2009 = £1,164.49
Financial year 1st April 2009– 31st March 2010 = £1,969.24
Financial year 1st April 2010– 31st March 2011 = £1,969.28
Financial year 1st April 2011– to date = £ 351.28
Total to date £12,782.83

Plus the order that I placed on 1st March 2012 of £438.55, which they did not send out and instead sent the letter closing my account!

I have contacted the Press & Journal and told them to print the correct facts in the next edition and also on their website!

As I have stated before, I have nothing to hide, and if anyone doubts this I am more than happy to show them the invoices!!!


David A. Ross (Director), Ross Outdoors Ltd.

Graisg said...

If you like David we'd be willing to publish copies online. Please advise.

Anonymous said...

I don't think David has anything to prove to any gossip around the town. Unless you run your own business you really have no idea how hard it really is. The postcode is a major factor and indeed minimum orders are imposed so the bigger companies can 'push out' the smaller business. Most people are ignorant to these facts but it doesn't stop them giving 'their opinion''. Good luck to David he doesn't have to justify his difficult decision to anybody.

Ross Outdoors Ltd. said...

To set the matter straight.

Mr. Steve Roberts of The Mountain Boot Co. Ltd. has still not explained his ridiculous statement regarding “Ross Outdoors achieved purchases of less than £20 in 2011”.

Yesterday the Press and Journal deleted the web page of the article as they could not either add the correct facts to it, or just delete the factually incorrect and damaging paragraph. They also printed in yesterdays (25/04/12) paper in the "letters to the editor" section my following letter.

Dear Sir,
The concern at the moment with politicians and TV programmes is to try to help and encourage small businesses. This is getting increasingly more difficult in the North of Scotland. You recently ran an article (21/03/12) in your paper on why after 11years of trading I am closing my business.

However, I wish to correct an inaccuracy in that article. One of my 20 or so suppliers who was mentioned (Mr. Steve Roberts of The Mountain Boot Co. Ltd.) closed my account as I was ordering below their new made up rule of a minimum of £5,000 (trade cost ex vat) per year. He stated that I had only spent £20 in 2011. The figure of £20 was grossly inaccurate and misleading. Firstly they impose carriage/small order charges on orders of less than £250 (trade cost ex vat) so I always order accordingly! Secondly, I had placed and paid for an order to the value of £351.28. In addition, I had placed another order on 1st March 2012 for £438.55 worth of goods, which they did not send out and instead sent the letter closing my account! Also since the 1st April 2003 I have ordered and paid for goods to the value of £12,782.83, an average of £1,597 per year!

With Nairn being an IV postcode we are also penalised by having to order minimum amounts of goods, in some instances up to £750, before the distributors/manufacturers will even consider delivering to us!!
So with the distributors/manufacturers only wanting to deal with big shops, demanding that you order huge amounts, and in some cases even wanting £5,000 twice a year ordered 10months in advance!!! and the postcode discrimination that is applied to this part of the UK what hope is there for us small, specialist, businesses???

David A. Ross
Ross Outdoors Ltd.