Kenwood is under fire from independent cookshops after the company left them high and dry on delivery of a product recommended by Delia Smith.
When Kenwood’s Mini Chopper was used by the television chef in her March series demand was expected to soar, and HousewaresLive.net has been told that Kenwood promised cookshops that deliveries would be made in April. However, some are still waiting for the products to arrive, with one cookshop owner claiming that they have been sold to multiples instead.
“Everyone I know in the cookshop industry is spitting mad over it,” Kitchen Kapers chain owner Gary Gordon told HousewaresLive.net. “Kenwood were told last September she was going to use this thing in the series, and they did nothing.”
He ordered 40 of the Mini Choppers through distributor Beam. “We put our orders in in March and were promised delivery in April while the series was on. The promised delivery date kept going back and back, and we found out this morning that they’ve sold the whole lot to John Lewis and House of Fraser.
“A couple of weeks ago a regular customer of ours who’s had one on order came in and said: ‘I’ve been all around the houses – Lakeland, House of Fraser, Currys, Comet, Dyas and online – and no one had them in stock’.”
Gordon said he has been told by Beam that the earliest date for delivery is now the end of August. “If we’d had them at the time we’d have sold loads of them,” he said. “They’ve got their heads in the sand and are clueless.
“If they want to sell Kenwood products through independents we might tell them where they can stick it,” he added.
Dinghams of Salisbury and Winchester, which also buys Kenwood products through Beam, has had the same problems. According to partner and buyer Sarah Hardingham, Dinghams, like Kitchen Kapers, was promised delivery of the Kenwood Mini Chopper in April.
“Beam haven’t said a reason, but every month we get an email saying it’s going to be an extra month,” she told HousewaresLive.net. “We’ve got 20 customers’ names, and we keep having to phone to say they’ll have to wait another month. Now we’ve been told it will be August.
“I knew the products must have gone somewhere,” she added, “and I figured out that they would have been sold to a multiple.
“If they don’t want our business, and if that’s how we’re treated, then we won’t forget that in the future,” she said.
Kenwood, which reported in May that sales of its Mini Chopper had risen by 81% since Delia Smith’s recommendation, failed to comment on the allegations, and Beam declined to comment.