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Exclusive: Oasis and Warehouse Group delays supplier payments

The Oasis and Warehouse Group has informed suppliers that it will be delaying payment terms, in an attempt to protect the business during the coronavirus outbreak.

The company is still operating online and has not cancelled orders. However, suppliers to the business have expressed concerns that the retailer has not issued any statements as to when they will be paid for overdue invoices and goods that have already been delivered.

Meanwhile, Drapers understands the group is also in talks with landlords about deferring rent and VAT payments. It is also understood to be looking at furloughing in-store staff and non-essential head office teams.

An Oasis and Warehouse spokeswoman told Drapers: “During this unprecedented situation and uncertainty, our priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues. We fully appreciate the pressure of Covid-19 is being felt by all, and we are working through options for the business in terms of how we mitigate it’s impact on our business, our employees and our suppliers.”

Since the coronavirus outbreak, retailers including Urban OutfittersPrimarkEdinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM) and New Look have written to suppliers to cancel orders until further notice.

Last week the group appointed “Big Four” auditor Deloitte to help conduct a potential sale of the business, amid the coronavirus outbreak. It was not looking for a sale amid its three-year turnaround plan but had been approached by a potential buyer. 

The group, which is owned by failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing, has been in conversation with potential buyers over the last week. Administrators for Kaupthing launched a sale for the group, which then included Karen Millen and Coast, back in November 2016. Kaupthing then opted to withdraw from the sale process in 2017, after the only remaining bidder was Emerisque Brands, a private equity firm.

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