4 July 2007 — Hemel Hempstead (UK): ISA/Kingfield Heath chief Bruce Robinson has reacted swiftly to yesterday’s news of the existence of its online retailer, Caboodle.
The CEO of ISA insists the future of the internet web-shop will be reviewed following the integration of ISA and Kingfield Heath and subsequent separation of the direct selling arm of ISA.
In a statement to OPI, Robinson, claimed: "Established late 2006, Caboodle is an ISA internet web-shop that is still very much in development, alongside a number of active eCommerce solutions that are required to satisfy the broad consumer demand in today’s business supplies market.
"Independently, Kingfield Heath has made a substantial investment to develop an eCommerce solution for its customers that will provide both a technologically advanced internet ordering capability and a powerful frontend web-shop.
"Kingfield Heath has engaged with its customers throughout the development of the platform, that engagement is ongoing and widely respected by the independent dealers. Collaboration of learning between ISA and Kingfield Heath will result in a better understanding of internet procurement and the expectations of e-buyers.
"During the planning phase and integration of ISA and Kingfield Heath and the separation of the direct selling arm of ISA, eCommerce will be reviewed alongside all other key customer considerations.
"Understandably, the principal focus is and will continue to be on delivering the absolute benefits of "The Super Wholesaler", in particular dealer access to the most comprehensive range of stocked electronic office supplies in the UK and Republic of Ireland."
Following the release of the statement and discussions with Robinson, OPI understands the Caboodle venture was created to better understand the demands of e-Buyers, knowledge and experience which ISA intended to pass on to its customer base of dealers.
Its intentions may well have been honourable; but it has unwittingly left itself susceptible to suspicion, a naivety which some may attribute to the pressures of the merger.