The advent of Covid-10 has caused many economies around the globe to plunge into recession. One of the hardest hit sectors has been retailers as lockdowns around the world has closed shops.
The UK has been no exception but some clothing retailers have acted immorally in some eyes. Passing on costs to there suppliers in countries who can ill afford it. Bangladesh apparel Makers and trade bodies are now trying to ensure that UK businesses pay their dues.
In a letter to Philip Day the :
- Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association ( BGMEA )
- Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association ( BKMEA )
Have threatened to blacklist the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Limited for non-payment of dues and what they see as unreasonable discounts requested from their members.
The letter from BGMEA President Rubana Huq requests settlement of dues by May 29th. If outstanding debts are not settled they face an embargo on doing business in Bangladesh.
Who are Edinburgh Woollen Mill company
Edingburgh Woollen Mill limited is the parent company of Peacocks, jaeger, Austiin Reed, Jacques Vert, Country Casuals, Windsmoor, Baumier of Germany, Bonmarche and Ponden home. A considerable player in the Apparel business with retail stores in high streets across the UK.
A major supporter to Bangladesh factories. All clothing retailers have been hit hard by the closure of stores & retail outlets under enforced lockdown measures.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill company are not on their own, Major clothing retailers across the world have been hit hard. If clothing retailers take orders to hold until 2021 they believe it will depress 2021 heavily across the region.
Philip day has also issued a rebuttal to the Bangladesh apparel makers letter. Calling into question the timing of this letter just before Eid. Claiming productive talks have been ongoing with suppliers.
How Bangladesh apparel makers see it.
For goods already shipped and handed over to Edinburgh Woollen Mills forwarders before March 25th this payment should be made no later than May 29th. For orders placed negotiations to be complete by June 05th. Negotiation must be mutual and not unilateral in nature by the buyers.
Deferred shipments allowed with permitted discounts. These must by by mutual agreement between the exporters and buyers and in compliance with local laws in Bangladesh.
The BGMEA and BKMEA are claiming they will not issue any new utilization declarations ( UD ) covering Edinburgh Woollen Mill orders. This will also cover all affiliates and associates.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, especially as Bangladesh comes out of lockdown and seafreight movements begin to ramp up over the second half of the year. With UK businesses slowly transitioning from lockdown you would expect that retailers can ill afford further delays in their supply chain.