Tuesday 15 June 2021 2:57 pm

Boohoo takes tough stance on suppliers following Leicester factory scandal

Boohoo has taken a tough stance with its suppliers that includes removing them from the online retailer’s supply chain list if an alert is raised about them.

Boohoo has set up a sub-committee of its Supply Chain Compliance Committee that will focus on the financial practices of the businesses and now requires suppliers to have their audits carried out by independent third-party auditors Verisio and Bureau Veritas.

The online retailer’s tough stance comes after it terminated relationships with more than 60 Leicester suppliers last December following an investigation into working conditions at garment factories in the midlands city.

A Sunday Times investigation last summer alleged staff faced low pay and poor working conditions in Leicester, which an independent review conducted by Alison Levitt QC in September found to be true.

Since then, the fashion retailer has done its best to separate itself from supply chain issues, including hiring retired judge Brian Leveson to independently check its drive the improve its supply chain and business practices.

In his third report, published today, Leveson said he was “encouraged by the determination of all to address the issues which were exposed last year and to promote and embed a new way of working in the highest ethical standards.”

On Boohoo’s supply chain, Leveson said: “To give effect to the continuing monitoring which takes place across the supply chain and to ensure that issues are fully investigated, when Boohoo receive information or some other alert or concern about a supplier, a process has been devised which is thorough and, which, in appropriate cases, has acted to remove businesses from the supply chain notwithstanding their inclusion in the original list.

“At the same time, an enhanced on-boarding process is being undertaken which allows suitable new suppliers to join the supply chain provided that they can demonstrate compliance with boohoo’s code of conduct and its ethical standards.”

Boohoo continues revenue surge, with online shopping here to stay

Boohoo has booked total revenue of £486.1m over the last three months, up 32 per cent, as the popularity of online shopping looks here to stay.

Revenue in the UK alone has rocketed 50 per cent to £274.6m in the three months to 31 May. While, across the pond in the US, it has risen 43 per cent, raking in £131.9m.

“I am delighted with our performance in the first quarter, particularly as it was always going to be challenging to produce strong growth rates on last year when lockdowns around the globe drove such high traffic to online retailers,” CEO John Lyttle said.

The retailer’s shares rose in this afternoon’s trading by 1.04 per cent, taking its share price to 331.9p per share.

The online fashion retailer said this morning that it had integrated Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton brands into its ‘multi-brand platform’.

Boohoo has also launched the new Debenhams digital department store after the British high street staple fell into admission last year.

After online retail skyrocketed in popularity amid three national lockdowns in the UK, the trend shows of signs of stopping.

The retailer has ended the past three months with net cash of £199.1m, less than its net cash in February due to the brand’s “ongoing investment in infrastructure and our platform leaves us well-placed to maximise the opportunities for growth as we build the business for the future,” Lyttle said.

The group’s London-based brands are now also operating from its new offices in Soho.