If you are a retailer, you likely have relationships with many different people. Your relationship with your suppliers can be one of the most important. Suppliers are the ones that you depend on when you have a rush order, or if a customer suddenly changes their mind about an order. However, what happens if you cannot depend on your supplier? There may be some unforeseen circumstance that prevents them from assisting you. In this case, you would require more information about the situation.
Are my suppliers allowed to stop working with me?
If your supplier suddenly stops providing you with supplies, it may or may not be legal, depending on the facts. For example, if the supplier has a large amount of market share, and they stop selling to you, this could mean that they are violating the law. Let’s say that the supplier controls 95% of the market share, and they continue selling to others, but not to you. This is not fair to you, as it will be very difficult for you to find another supplier. In this case, you would need to prove that your business has been harmed from terminating this arrangement.
What if a supplier stops working with you because your competitors have complained about you? Perhaps they are saying that your prices are too low and are hurting their business. Legally, the supplier has a perfect right to stop working with you. If they do not wish to sell to you, it is expected that you will find someone else who can. In some cases, there may be more of an issue behind the terminated agreement. If a supplier is working with one of your competitors against you, this may be considered illegal action.
A back-up solution
Wholesale suppliers are typically who you would turn to when you have a problem. Failing this, you may need to speak with another retailer for help. Retailers will have a fair amount of supplies, and they will keep them in stock for a longer period of time than wholesalers. However, retailers will want to make a profit from the goods that they are selling to you. Their prices will be much higher than those of a wholesaler. You might be able to work with particular retailers in business agreements. You may be able to buy supplies in bulk quantities for cheaper prices.
Another solution that you may need to consider is outsourcing. This is when you make an agreement with outside suppliers. They manufacture your product, instead of you doing it yourself. This typically saves money for the retailer, but the quality of the product may be lacking. Customers may be opposed to buying these products because they were made from outside labour. This option gives you a wide selection of manufacturers to choose from. You are not limited to only working with one, who may not always be able to come through for you. Whether the benefits of this method outweigh the cons will depend on your business and your personal preference.