Edinburgh Woollen Mill or EWM, the British apparel retailer, which reportedly cancelled work orders worth US $ 8.2 million placed with its various vendors in Bangladesh, The factories, supported by the (BGMEA)Bangladesh clothing manufacturers are threatening to halt production and deliveries and black list the EWM.
Bangladesh Garments and Manufacturing Association trade body saying billionaire Philip Day’s EWM retail group and its agents demanded hefty reductions, cancelled orders or withheld fee for items already shipped or manufactured for the corporate.
About 30 suppliers to Day’s empire, which have more than 1,000 retailers including Peacocks, Austin Reed and Jaeger, arranged a letter from the BGMEA which accuses Edinburgh Woollen Mill and its agents of taking “undue advantage of the Covid-19 situation”.
The factories, backed by the Bangladesh Garments and Manufacturing Association trade body, said in a letter that the retailer had withheld payment for items already heading to the UK and demanded big discounts.
They want payment for clothes delivered by May 29 and have determined to take legal action if customer demand ‘financially catastrophic’ discounts.
An EWM spokesman responded to the media: ‘We have engaged with all our individual suppliers with openness, honesty, and the best of intentions, even when the circumstances are difficult.’
“We are blacklisting non-responsive buyers who are not only paying but also not responding to suppliers,” said BGMEA President Rubana Huq, she further adding that the RMG sector always maintained a strategic relationship with buyers and brands and is not for confrontational posture towards anyone but when the business is going through such a tough time there is a need to rank the buyers, more so when there is a significant mismatch between the sustainability requirements and sourcing practices.
Recently the BGMEA had written a letter in this direction to the owner of EWM Philip Day requesting him to settle all outstanding dues as prescribed, failing which the retailer would be blacklisted and embargo placed on it and its agents.