Source - Alliance News

boohoo Group PLC has broken promises to make its clothes fairly and allegedly pressured suppliers to drive prices down, according to reports.

An investigation by BBC Panorama said an undercover reporter working for the business found employees pressuring suppliers to reduce prices even after deals had been agreed.

It comes around three years after the London-based online fashion retailer overhauled its ethical practices after a supply chain scandal.

This followed reports that workers at a Leicester factory making garments for the retailer earned less than minimum wage and worked in unsafe conditions.

As part of its shake-up, Boohoo undertook an independent review, with Alison Levitt KC then describing allegations as ‘substantially true’.

Boohoo launched its agenda for change programme and commitments after the review.

However, Panorama said its undercover reporter was told to process a 5% reduction on more than 400 orders that had already been agreed, saving the company thousands of pounds.

A Boohoo group spokesman said: ‘Boohoo has not shied away from dealing with the problems of the past and we have invested significant time, effort and resource into driving positive change across every aspect of our business and supply chain.

‘We have made a number of improvements, including strengthening the ethical and compliance obligations on those wishing to supply Boohoo, regularly publishing our full list of approved global manufacturers, responsibly exiting from relationships with suppliers where standards are found to have fallen short, supplementing audit processes with regular unannounced checks and more.

‘The action we’ve taken has already delivered significant change and we will continue to deliver on the commitments we’ve made.’

Shares in the company dipped in early trading on Monday as a result. They traded 0.8% higher on late Monday morning at 33.14 pence each in London.

By Henry Saker-Clark, PA Deputy Business Editor

Press Association: Finance

source: PA

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