Georgetown, TX (PressExposure) November 10, 2009 -- In a move that surprised not only their distributor, but their end customer as well, Otis Spunkmeyer announced recently that they are going to go "Direct to School" with their sales.
The reaction among the fundraising community has been one of shock and awe! There are four major fundraising companies in the US that have for years been promoting the Otis Spunkmeyer brand who woke up one morning to find out they were being, in a sense, laid off.
Apparently, Otis Spunkmeyer feels that even though they will probably sell about half of what they were selling via their network of professional fundraisers, they will pocket more profits for themselves. How could they not. They are not planning to lower their price or offer schools more profit on the dough. So in effect, they gave themselves a huge raise.
Megan Barnett, a salesrep for one of the "losing" distributors put it this way: "It's hard, when you make your living selling a good product to your customers and then one morning find out that they, in effect, are stealing your customers! It's done all for the sake of Otis Spunkmeyer's bottom line. But my bottom line just hit the floor!"
Otis announced that they would allow their distributors continue to sell their Otis Spunkmeyer and Chippery brand dough till December 31, 2009 and then they were going to be dealing direct with schools from that point on. However, on that point, most distributors have already been receiving reports of Otis soliciting their customers as early as September.
Kimberley Snow, another fundraising rep for one of Otis' distributors is "spitting mad" about it. She says, "My customers are just that... mine! The fact that I have them selling Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough is only because I chose to show it to them. When Otis breaks our trust and starts calling my customers simply because they have their contact information is a form of theft. Could you imagine Black and Decker refusing to sell to Home Depot and using their customer list to market to local contractors?"
It seems that there are some questionable tactics going on here. Whether they are legal in nature or ethical in scope is something that remains to be revealed. In any case, the situation has whole bunch of people scratching their head and another bunch bent over from receiving a big kick in the stomach.