Snow-Covered-Car-ParkWholesale store managers are being urged to act now as the UK faces the harshest start to winter for 17 years.

The Office of National Statistics recorded a 1.8 per cent fall in retail sales between December and January during 2009/10, while Lloyds TSB Commercial found that 39 per cent of SMEs were either forced to close its premises or cut-off by snow or ice during January and February this year.

Alastair Kight, Managing Director of the UK’s biggest specialist gritting company, Gritit, says it’s not too late for wholesale managers to put a plan in place now to prevent their premises, car parks and private roads becoming treacherous:-

1. Get in touch with a respected gritting business and fast. The specialist provider will be much more likely to be able to gain access to the key ingredients for an effective ice prevention solution. The company will have accurate forecast information, properly equipped, instructed and trained operators and access to sustainable quantities of salt at sensible prices.

2. If they are unable to secure professional services, stock up on grit and shovels and train key members of staff to do the job – don’t forget the impact of staff holidays over the Christmas period.

3. If you can’t find a specialist you can rely on take additional steps to reduce the risks, source hazard signs to warn of potentially slippery conditions and if areas are particularly dangerous cordon-off to prevent accidents.

Alastair explains the importance of being prepared, “Trying to scramble for solutions when the world outside is white is a recipe for disaster. The pressure that all critical alternative suppliers including plant hire companies and salt suppliers come under at times like this means that it can literally be weeks before solutions will be available – this was the case for many in several parts of the country last year.”

He says: “By the time arrangements are in place the danger period may well have passed and the costs to the business would have already been suffered, be they lost sales, the cost of defending litigation, actual liability for accidents caused, or the reputational loss that would occur from poorly maintained premises, the upside of doing nothing is pretty hard to spot.”

Services such as those provided by Gritit mean that wholesale managers and business owners have no need to panic when the temperatures plummet.

For more information on Gritit’s services, please visit

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