We are all too familiar with the results a pet food recall can have on our own family. Some recent emails have shared another side of a pet food recall; the retail side. I have to admit, this is a side of a pet food recall I’ve never thought of before.
Many independent pet food store owners can reel off facts about pet food quality, origin of ingredients, health benefits, and more – that would make your head spin. I know of several that could probably go toe-to-toe in conversation quoting science and current studies with any pet food nutritionist. Most care deeply about the products they carry and the pets that they serve.
As with any retail business, the retailer must purchase product first, then with markup sell it to customers in order to pay the bills. But what happens when there is a recall? Who ‘eats’ the markup cost when customers return products to the store?
I received the following email from one of these independent pet food retailers…(this is abbreviated version of a letter sent to the President of Diamond Pet Food)…
I am understanding via your sales team that you have no desire or intention to offer any kind of compensation over and above my wholesale costs for NUMEROUS bags of food manufactured in your plant(s) even though others in the industry follow a completely different attitude and ethical path in these sorts of situations. Wellpet paid me full retail for their last recall.
I am not only out the cost of the products which is my wholesale cost plus 20%, I have had to pay numerous employees to move the bags around up to and including risking their health if they got Salmonella from the outside of the bags. Then there is the time spent trying to move customers off of your foods onto others we carry.
Imagine, as with this most recent recall, dozens of products being recalled over a month. The fall out of a pet food recall not only can sicken or kill a pet destroying a family and often their bank account in the process of trying to save a pet’s life, it can also cost the pet food retailer dearly. Out of no fault of their own, pets, consumers and pet food retailers ‘pay’ for the mistakes of the manufacturer.
Do you believe that pet food manufacturers should reimburse the pet food retailer for the full retail price of any product recalled and returned by the consumer?