The hidden costs and risks of shopping retail

Sponsored by

Today’s supply chain is still highly disrupted, leaving you with a myriad of sourcing challenges. You are torn between brand standard compliance, P&L fiduciary responsibilities and having products for your guests. As a result, you are forced to source from retail options—which may seem like a convenient solution, but retail sourcing has its own drawbacks.

Retailers like Amazon and Costco can provide supplies in the short term, particularly as the supply chain challenges persist, but most are not commercial grade nor meet brand standards, which can have ramifications on quality, durability and guest experience. For instance, commercial-grade cords and plugs on items like hair dryers and irons are made to be more durable and have more uses than the ones on retail products.

Risk and liability are also crucial considerations. Once an associate leaves your property, they are subject to potential accidents or theft, which is a potential liability for you as the employer. If an associate gets hurt while shopping, this is considered a workplace accident with potential liability for you. Additionally, the associate could miss work, leaving you short-staffed.

Furthermore, in today’s tight labor market, what is the real cost of sending a hotel associate shopping? As an owner or operator, your time is too valuable to be spent chasing the latest sale or securing basic supplies. And when you have associates who are out shopping, they are not tending to your guests. That’s costly from a reputation and customer service standpoint.

Searching multiple websites for acceptable substitutions is another way time and money are lost. You are spending more time bargain-hunting and not serving guests. In your quest for a bargain, you may end up purchasing supplies that do not meet brand standards, hindering your ability to deliver a consistent and uniform guest experience.

Product recalls can create risk for you, too. You may not be notified immediately if an item you purchase from a retailer is recalled. In some cases, the retailer may simply list recalls on their website without directly notifying the affected customers. This puts you at risk if you continue to use a recalled product or offer it to your guests.

Instead of shopping retail, save time and money, adhere to brand standards and reduce your risk by partnering with a procurement services provider like Avendra, a one-stop solution for hospitality purchasing.

“At Avendra, we’ve made the process easy to stay up to date on changing brand standards. We work directly with all major hotel brands and their approved suppliers to implement changes to order guides that reflect the most recent brand standards,” said Eleanor Waddell, VP of Business Development at Avendra. “Furthermore, in an industry where customer satisfaction and brand integrity are critical, our Quality Assurance team enforces strict standards of quality and value and has negotiated best-in-class contracts based on the significant volume of business we do with suppliers.”

Mitigated risk is another key advantage of working with Avendra. We typically include extra insurance coverage and enhanced service provisions in our supplier agreements to ensure you are protected and your hotel is covered.

Avendra’s Quality Assurance team monitors updates and recall notices are disseminated once the issue and product have been confirmed. Our customers receive time-sensitive notifications of important food and safety-related product or service issues.

Avoid the hidden costs and risks of shopping retail by joining a proven procurement partner like Avendra. We can save you money and mitigate your risk without compromising quality or service, so you can focus on providing the best experience your guests have come to expect. Avendra, we get it. And we can help.


About Avendra

Avendra is North America’s leading hospitality procurement services provider. Our supply chain management solutions are tailored to our clients’ business strategies and deliver benefits beyond great savings. We combine years of hospitality expertise, purchasing power, services and software to help customers impact the bottom line, improve operational performance, and better serve guests. More than 10,000 customers rely on Avendra as a trusted partner. Visit to learn more.