Asos boss Nick Beighton has hit out at allegations that it is “the new Sports Direct”, saying that the fast-fashion etailer has “nothing to hide”.
Asos wants ‘to set the record straight’
In a six-page riposte to allegations from a BuzzFeed exposé, union GMB and former Labour leadership candidate Owen Smith MP, Beighton said: “I’m disappointed that inaccurate and misleading things have been said about how we manage our warehouse at Barnsley in Yorkshire.”
Working conditions in retail warehouses have been top of the agenda of late, with Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley forced to appear before MPs to answer questions on the conditions of his Shirebrook warehouse.
“Hopefully this summary will dispel the allegations that are upsetting to me personally, and to everyone who works at Asos, particularly our colleagues in Barnsley”
Nick Beighton, Asos
Beighton continued: “We want every single person who works with Asos directly, or for one of our partners, to have a great experience and feel respected and valued.
”Where we’ve been able, we have tried to set the record straight, but some misrepresentation continues. I lead the Asos management team so I know how seriously we take our responsibilities as an employer.
“I take huge exception to the idea that we are secretive and exploit our people. We have nothing to hide and much to be proud of. I want the facts to speak for themselves.
“We don’t pretend to be perfect and we are learning all the time. We learn, re-set and go again. That’s the way we do things at Asos.
“Hopefully this summary will dispel the allegations that are upsetting to me personally, and to everyone who works at Asos, particularly our colleagues in Barnsley.”
He went on to say that he was aware that Asos had “a direct responsibility” for every person who worked for it and that, despite it working with outsourcing company XPO, he knew Asos could “never outsource the responsibility for our people”.
The six-page document listed bullet-pointed responses on areas which have come under attack such as wages; working conditions; security and searches; and its annualised hours system.
Beighton added: “We take exception to the suggestion that we are secretive and exploit people… we resent the misleading things that have been said about us. That we care about our people is beyond doubt and I’d like to thank every single one of them.”