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Exclusive: Joules asks suppliers for discount

Joules has asked its suppliers for discounts on spring 20 orders to help it to absorb a new tariff levied on goods moving from the UK to the US, Drapers can reveal. 

In a letter seen by Drapers, Joules asked its suppliers to support a discount on spring 20 orders to help alleviate the impact of a new 25% US tariff on goods coming from the UK and the drop in value of sterling. The company told suppliers the rebate request “does need to be met”. 

A source close to Joules blamed wider external geopolitical issues, such as US tariffs, for impacting the industry. 

Suppliers told Drapers they are “fed up” with retailers asking for discounts. 

”Retailers can’t keep asking suppliers for discounts – they have to swallow the costs themselves or we will all struggle to survive”, one Joules supplier said. “It’s an absolute joke.”

Another supplier said: “Joules cannot do that on placed orders. It’s totally wrong.”

In August, Asos asked suppliers for a 3% discount on all invoices for stock received from 1 September onwards, while in September Sports Direct asked for 1% off everything for “currency devaluation”, and 1% off anything made with cotton. In January 2018, Arcadia demanded an additional 2% discount on all orders with a payment due from 1 February. 

The US imposed tariffs on $7.5bn (£6bn) of European goods including clothing and textiles exported from the UK from 18 October. 

Joules wasn’t available to comment. 

Readers' comments (1)

  • Joules should take any costs on the chin. It is not for suppliers to help them out and this sounds like threatening behaviour.

    While Joules has every right to ask for a discount, their suppliers are under no legal obligation to agree to it.

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