Some retailers hit the headlines for the wrong reasons this year and were left with their reputations severely tarnished.
Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct was embroiled in a media circus after The Guardian published an exposé on the working conditions at its Shirebrook warehouse.
It claimed that staff were effectively being paid below the minimum wage and raised questions about how they were being treated.
Ashley was hauled in front of MPs and called to account for working conditions at the warehouse.
At an open day for press and investors in September, Ashley stole the limelight by flashing a wad of £50 notes as he went through a dummy security check.
A month later, Sports Direct was forced to deny planting a hidden camera to record an unplanned visit from the MPs who had grilled Ashley during the inquiry.
But overshadowing Ashley’s woes was Sir Philip Green, whose knighthood for services to retail has been questioned since BHS slumped into administration this year.
Last year Green sold the chain for £1, with a sizeable pension deficit, to multiple bankrupt Dominic Chappell.
The collapse that followed involved the loss of 11,000 jobs and left an as-yet-unplugged pension black hole to the tune of £571m.
Despite pledging to resolve the pension deficit, Green has not yet stumped up the cash and the row wages on. MPs even branded the Arcadia-owner “the unacceptable face of capitalism”.
Meanwhile, Chappell was arrested last month over allegations of an unpaid tax bill.
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