Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We use cookies to personalise your experience; learn more in our Privacy and Cookie Policy. You can opt out of some cookies by adjusting your browser settings; see the cookie policy for details. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies.

Comment: Retailers and brands must #PayUp

One supplier has called for retailers and brands to pay up for cancelled goods. The author has asked to remain anonymous. 

Coronavirus is certainly testing suppliers’ resolve and loyalty, the supplier writes. We now find ourselves in a position where many of our orders are at a complete standstill. We have orders on the water, orders at the docks, orders on trucks going to port and orders half made.

There’s fabric on cutting tables with pieces cut, and fabrics in stock for future orders sitting in the warehouse, not to mention fabrics being weaved at mills. Retailers are stretching payment terms and, in some cases, cancelling all orders. 

To turn off everything overnight is, of course, a disaster. It affects every single person in the supply chain, from farmers supplying cottonseed, to cotton growers, to spinners, truck drivers – and this before we even start to think about weaving, making, and so on. 

There are hundreds of thousands of jobs associated with retail and its supply chain, so it is critical that retailers and etailers work closely with manufacturers because when we come out on the other side retailers, etailers and manufacturers are the only ones that can preserve some sort of status quo of all these associated jobs across the many countries.

H&M San Francisco

H&M has agreed to pay suppliers for goods already manufactured

Nearly all retailer and etailers have taken retrospective discounts at some point to shore up their profit. All impose fines for non-compliance issues, extend payment terms, increase discounts and request air freights for orders a week late. Suppliers are already having to live with this. 

We are in the most momentous of times and all retailers mention loyalty, but in reality, there is none to suppliers. One exception I see does appear to be H&M – it at least seem to be trying to support suppliers. [H&M has agreed to pay for already produced garments and goods in production under agreed terms.] 

It is perhaps the only retailer to pay its suppliers for cancelled orders where products have been manufactured. 

It is looking like there must some permanent casualties of coronavirus, but with many retailers and etailers now extending their credit terms with no notice, we need to hope they actually do indeed start to make these payments, otherwise it is extremely hard to see how suppliers will come through this.  

Perhaps now the curtain has come down, we will see which retailers and etailers are truly ethically and socially responsible. Any retailer that is using this as an excuse to discount or not pay invoices for made goods should be blacklisted by suppliers.

All brands must follow H&M’s example. #PayUp. 

Readers' comments (2)

  • Well said. And let us not forget the fabric producers who are facing similar behaviour from customers from across the world.

    If retailers/etailers/brands etc want to have garments to sell once all of this is over, they need to protect and support their whole supply chain, otherwise their shops are going to be full of precisely nothing.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • darren hoggett

    The key is everybody working in the supply chain and nobody playing hardball, because that won't work.

    There needs to be compromise by all parties that has to be affordable. This may take several seasons to correct, but it can be done. Obviously the longer lockdown continues for, the harder it will be. But if there's a will, there's a way.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.