Unstable customer

This term refers to a customer who has replaced one of his suppliers or changed the share of volume assigned to one of his suppliers during the period.
(See also Volatility)

Example 1:

Fleming will lose Hannaford Brothers' business in the Southeast as the Hannaford Brothers chain moves to self-distribution in that market.
(Year 1996-SIC 5141)

Explanation: Hannaford Brothers is an Unstable Customer of Fleming, moving its purchasing away from Fleming to an in-house approach.

Example 2:

Hotels.com and Expedia give hotel owners a chance to reach travelers who aren't usually customers of their brands. There is a large group of consumers who are not brand loyal and who purchase on price.
(Year 2002-SIC 7011)

Explanation: These price-sensitive customers are Unstable Customers in the marketplace. They will move from one hotel to another depending on which has the lowest price.