EXCLUSIVE: UK Hatco supplier introduces ‘surcharge’ to combat huge currency swing

Gamble Foodservice Solutions

Gamble Foodservice Solutions will introduce a 10% ‘surcharge’ on orders from December as a way to combat the devaluation of the pound against the dollar, but it has pledged to reverse the decision if there is a swing in rates.

Leicestershire-based GFS, the UK supplier of Hatco equipment, buys most of its equipment in US dollars, so the dramatic fall in the value of sterling since June has had a major impact on its cost base.

The company said that it has taken its time to assess the financial impact and reached the conclusion that a temporary surcharge on all US equipment is a fairer solution than simply increasing list prices.

Managing director, Mike O’Keeffe, explained: “After much deliberation we have decided on what we consider to be a fairer and more equitable alternative to raising our list prices. Effective from 1st December 2016 we will apply a 10% currency surcharge on all orders we receive for equipment, accessories and spare parts.”

Any orders for MKN equipment, which is supplied from Germany, will be exempt from the surcharge as these transactions are not subject to the vagaries of the GBP/USD relationship.

The surcharge is designed to be a “temporary measure” and will be reviewed on a bi-monthly basis after an initial review date of 28th February 2017, Mr O’Keeffe said.

“The removal of or any adjustment to the surcharge, upwards or downwards, will be subject to a minimum six-week period of material stability following any increase or decrease of the GB Pound’s value against the US Dollar.”

As well as Hatco, Gamble distributes catering equipment from FWE, Imperial, Montague, Ovention and Vacmaster.

Mr O’Keeffe said it was important to reiterate that the surcharge was a temporary measure solely implemented to offset the negative performance of the British pound over recent months.

“Suppliers very rarely reduce list prices once they have increased them. We therefore hope [customers] appreciate that we have tried to act in the best interests of our customers, without whom we wouldn’t have a business,” he said.

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