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Clothing suppliers urged to keep faith in F&F

Tesco has sought to reassure F&F suppliers following an investigation that found the supermarket knowingly delayed some payments to improve its finances.


On Tuesday, a report by The Grocery Code Adjudicator, Christine Tacon, claimed Tesco encouraged staff to seek agreements from suppliers to temporarily defer payments from February 2015, to help its margin.

Tesco said the investigation only covered its food suppliers and not clothing brand F&F, which is sold in more than 900 of its 2,600 UK stores.

However, some F&F suppliers have previously expressed concern about its practices.

One former supplier said Tesco had irreparably damaged some of its relationships. “I wouldn’t go back there,” he said. “The team was like a revolving door and at times they had a lot of people by the short and curlies.”

But a current supplier told Drapers: “Since working with Tesco we have had no issues and I haven’t heard of any others that have either.

“It seems it was down to who was running things on the food side.”

Tesco this week said it had carried out an overhaul of its business practices, including staff retraining, over the past year, which has already improved relationships with its supply partners.

A spokeswoman emphasised that this work extended across all of Tesco, including F&F.

The supermarket has previously announced plans to cut the time it takes to pay its clothing suppliers from June 2016.

Tesco remains under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office after £250m black hole was found in the company’s accounts in September 2014.




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