Brand Developers upgrades Shark sales suspension to official product recall

Following Appliance Retailer’s exclusive revelation last month that authorised distributor Brand Developers was suspending the sale of two Shark vacuum cleaners, we can today reveal that the company has written to its retail partners advising that this suspension has been upgraded to a “voluntary recall”.

(Copies of these letters are reproduced at the end of this article.)

At the time of publication, this recall was not listed on the ACCC’s dedicated Product Recalls website, though Brand Developers national key account manager Dale Wooldridge writes that a “proposed recall plan has been submitted” to the regulators and that Brand Developers is awaiting feedback on this.

“Once we have the regulators’ approval, we will formally communicate the plan and execution details and work very closely with each of you (retailers) on how we can best execute this within your guidelines,” Wooldridge writes in this letter, dated 10 March 2015.

This voluntary recall applies to two Shark floorcare models:

  • Shark Navigator Lift-Away (NV350NZ) — only units manufactured before 18 October 2014; and
  • Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional (NV356NZ)

The only insight Brand Developers has thus far provided as to what fault has caused this recall action is this line from the letter to retailers:

“The power cords of affected NV350NZ and NV356NZ Shark Navigator vacuum cleaners for the New Zealand and Australian market have been associated with a manufacturing process issue.”

We have contact Brand Developers to discuss this matter and we will update this story with any further information.

Although there is no advice for what consumers should do, Brand Developers has outlined what steps retailers affected by this recall should take.

The first step, Wooldridge writes, is to contact Brand Developers (1800 303 031) to discuss batch codes and manufacturing dates.

“Once retailers have spoken to Brand Developers’ retail customer service, Brand Developers will arrange for the affected recalled products to be picked up and returned to Brand Developers’ Distribution Centre,” Wooldridge writes. “It will then be credited via our standard products returns process. Note that single pickup is preferred to minimise disruption to your business. Brand Developers will utilise Retailers Reverse Logistics programmes where they exist.”

Wooldridge goes on to say that recalled Shark display or demonstration models should also be returned for a credit.

The Shark brand is owned by Euro-Pro Operating, a family run company based in Massachusetts, in the United States. In addition to the Shark range of floorcare products, Brand Developers also markets Euro-Pro’s small appliance brand Ninja.

In recent years, Shark has developed something of a cult following, based largely off its TV infomercials and goading of rival brand Dyson. In August 2014, Shark was the surprise winner ofCanstar Blue’s floorcare brand survey, eclipsing Dyson, Hoover, Miele, Electrolux and other more fancied names to be crowned Australia’s most satisfying vacuuming brand.

“Shark vacuum cleaners is the new kid on the block; it’s a fantastic product range and now we’ve got the research to prove it,” said Brand Developers category marketing manager Penny Bicknell at that time. “[This is] an outstanding success for Shark and it makes us very proud to be associated with the product and [to know] so many people are happy with their purchases.”

This author is on Twitter: @Patrickavenell

Reproduction of Brand Developers’ letter to retailers (Appliance Retailer watermark added):

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