Tourism in the Scottish Highlands is a billion-pound industry. It’s no surprise the Highlands regularly feature on copious lists of the best places to visit in the world. The waters of Loch Ness and the surrounding settlements rely on the myth and truth of the infamous Monster. Where there is tourism, there is trade and that means supply chains catering to visitors’ needs and wants. The debtor in question is one of over a hundred lodgings sharing the Loch’s heritage and mystery with both enthusiastic visitors and hard-core Nessie spotters. Accommodation is not just about providing a comfy bed, haggis, and a dram of whisky. That’s where our client comes in.
Our client has a proud history of supplying branded gifts and accessories to businesses operating across the Scottish tourism sector. Unlike some wholesalers, our client does not flog the stereotypical tacky, overpriced mementoes. Our client’s branded ornaments, soft toys, confectionery, and apparel are sourced with quality taking priority over pricing. Integrity is a key part of our client’s way of doing business and they rightly expect the same from the retailers they serve.
Shore of the Limit
In recent years our client enjoyed repeat business from the debtor, so much so that extended credit terms were agreed to help manage cash flow outside of peak season. When the order of £5.8K was despatched ahead of the hotel benefiting from several months of confirmed bookings, our client expected payment within 60 days. What had been a polite and jovial relationship turned sour when the debtor avoided returning calls and even hanging up on our client. A passing visit two months later indicated the stock had either been sold or was no longer on the shelves. With frustration mounting, Advocate were instructed.
A few days after commencing action we received a letter from the debtor’s solicitor claiming the business had not traded for several years and that no stock had been sold since delivery three months prior. In response, we provided copy invoices and remittance advices showing the client had supplied goods and received payment during the period being claimed as non-trading. We also conveyed the salesperson’s feedback from the passing visit. The debtor’s business was not as mothballed as it was first claimed. Admittedly tourism is bouncing back across the UK, but orders since 2020 had been in line with revised forecasts. It appears the debtor’s solicitors were not as informed as they had initially believed. With that in hand, there was little place for the debtor to go other than making full payment which arrived on day six of our action. The statutory late payment charges which make up Advocate’s fee were also paid. At the time of writing our client has received no further orders from the hotelier. With the debtor’s payment integrity in tatters, the scope for anything other than Pro-forma payment terms from our client is between zero and none!