THE RETAIL BULLETIN - The home of retail news
Lest we forget
HOME
RETAIL NEWS
RETAIL EVENTS
Fashion
Department Stores
Shopping Centres & Retail Parks
Home & DIY
Electricals
Health & Beauty
General Merchandise
Entertainment
Sports & Leisure
Retail Solutions
Food & Drink
Interviews
RETAIL INSIGHTS
RETAIL SOLUTIONS
ABOUT US
CONTACT US
SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE
The Five P's of product recall

The words "Product Recall" are enough to strike fear into the heart of any retailer but as BMW are proving this need not be the case! By Gavin Matthews, head of retail Bond Pearce.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

The Five P's of product recall

The words "Product Recall" are enough to strike fear into the heart of any retailer but as BMW are proving this need not be the case! By Gavin Matthews, head of retail Bond Pearce.

BMW recently recalled over 100,000 cars in the UK and approximately 1.3 million worldwide due to a product safety concern regarding their battery cable covers.

Whilst less than 1% of cars tested had suffered from the incorrectly fitted battery cable covering, there was wide spread press stating that the affected cars could catch fire! However, the precautionary stance and the way that BMW has handled the issue, combined with the sensationalistic reporting of the world press, has resulted in BMW actually gaining goodwill amongst parts of its customer base. Internet forums are rife with people raving about the quality of after sale service that they receive from BMW and stating that this recall is just a further example of that quality service.

The lesson to be learnt from this latest recall is that, in light of the all-encompassing nature of digital media and the evermore stringent product safety laws, disaster planning is not an option. Before placing goods on the market all retailers should ensure that they have an incident management team and associated incident management plan to deal with any product safety concerns that may subsequently arise. The BMW product recall has highlighted that with good planning, retailers really can make the best of a bad situation when it comes to product safety issues, and can even gain competitive advantage in the way the issue is handled.

Product safety law in the UK is contained in the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 which requires retailers to put only "safe products" on the market. Furthermore, these regulations also require retailers to notify the enforcement agencies and take remedial action, including "as a last resort, recall", in the event that they discover that goods are unsafe after putting them on the market.

The Regulations define a "safe product" as a product which, under normal or reasonably foreseeable use, presents either no risk or the minimum amount of risk acceptable in consideration of the products use, and consistent with the high level of protection for consumers.

In the event that a product falls below the definition of a "safe product" it is essential to instigate the incident management plan immediately. The next step will then usually be to get expert advice as to what specific action or inaction is required both technically and legally.

A range of steps can be taken from taking no action to instigating a full product recall. It is essential for retailers to consider which of these steps will be sufficient in any given situation. Whilst a full product recall will not always be required, it is necessary to deal with any product safety issue proportionately and in a prompt and uniform manner, to avoid reputational damage.

So the 5 P's are:

Plan – Design and implement incident management and recall policies, with clear lines of responsibility.

Process –Ensure that the policies are built into and form part of the company's processes. 

Promote – Ensure that staff understand the policies and process, to ensure a unified response.

Proactivity – Planning for product safety issues now can help to avert disaster at a later date.

PR – The key link between you and your customers. Convey the right message at the right time!

This article was co-authored with Nicky Loadsman, specialist in product liability at Bond Pearce LLP.

Email this article to a friend

You need to be logged in to use this feature.

Please log in here

Subscribe For Retail News

RETAIL EVENTS

The Retail Design Seminar 2018
The Retail Design Seminar 2018
14 November 2018
The Cavendish Conference Centre
The Retail Design Seminar 2018
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2019
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2019
6 February 2019
Cavendish Conference Centre, London WG1 9DT
A truly omnichannel offering requires an understanding of customer behaviour across all shopping channels and how this should impact your overall business strategy
Customer Engagement Conference 2019
Customer Engagement Conference 2019
5 June 2019
Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1
The 10th Annual Retail Customer Engagement Summit
AI in Retail Conference 2019
AI in Retail Conference 2019
18 September 2019
Cavendish Conference Center, 22 Duchess Mews, London W1G 9DT
Retail marketing is changing pace rapidly by making communication across all platforms personalised, relevant, efficient, and helpful. AI not only helps shoppers find a perfect product but also pre-empts the shopping behaviour and speeds up payment.
The HR Summit 2019
The HR Summit 2019
Tuesday 8 October 2019
The Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1
The 11th HR Summit 2019, The Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1, 8 October 2019