Deja-vu as Debenhams boss does a 'Halfords'

Is Rob Templeman a one-trick pony? At Homebase, he forced suppliers to swallow onerous payment terms and cut their margins. He did the same at Halfords, a policy that still rankles with bike-trade suppliers. Now he's done the same with suppliers to Debenhams, reports The Independent. This sort of slash-and-burn policy "only help profits in the short term," a retail analyst told the newspaper, echoing views expressed on this site regarding Halfords.
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For 'Debenhams' read 'Halfords'.

Of course, Templeman ups and leaves before his policies truly come home to roost, say retail analysts.

Halfords had a good year in 2003, but then so did the great majority of bicycle businesses. Many suppliers to Halfords, however, are once-bitten, twice-shy, and do not view the retailer in the same rosy light as they did prior to Templeman's infamous letter.

Merida, once a behind-the-scenes player in the UK market, supplying Halfords with many of its house-brand bikes, is now a consumer-facing brand in its own right, a move believed to be directly connected to Templeman's 'pay up or else' dictat.

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