The alleged poor treatment of retail’s warehouse workers has hit the headlines again today.
This time fashion etailer Asos has come under scrutiny as The Guardian has obtained evidence that shows new temporary workers at its Barnsley distribution centre are paid less than their more established colleagues for six months, rather than the three months stated in regulations.
This is yet more bad PR for retail as an employer.
The sector’s name was dragged through the mud earlier this year when Sports Direct’s warehouse was compared to a Victorian workhouse and its boss Mike Ashley was hauled in front of MPs to answer questions about working conditions.
Retail is the UK’s biggest employer and can be a sector where people prosper.
It’s one of the few industries where people can truly rise from the shopfloor to the boardroom – M&S chief executive Steve Rowe is case in point.
It’s about time retail started hitting the headlines for the right reasons.
More bad news for retail. BHS officially entered administration today, marking the final chapter for the collapsed department store retailer after 88 years on the British high street.
FRP Advisory has been charged with winding down the retailer’s remaining assets – a process that can, in some instances, take a number of years – with monies raised going to BHS’s creditors.
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom today. Fashion etailer Missguided has reported soaring full-year sales, which jumped 34% to £117m.
However, EBITDA took a hit as it invested heavily in marketing, technology, infrastructure and recruitment.
Quote of the day
“This is another milestone in the collapse of BHS that Sir Philip Green sailed away from. At this stage, though, it is welcome.
“It does beg the question, though, of why the BHS pensioners are having to jostle for position, when Sir Philip promised months ago he would ‘sort’ their pension payments.”
Frank Field MP, work and pensions committee chair
Today in numbers
The fall in Missguided’s EBITDA
The percentage of Christmas spend that is expected to be made online, according to the PwC Christmas Consumer Report
Retail Week will have fashion fever next week as we launch Runway, a week long focus on the fashion sector. It kicks off on Monday with stores expert John Ryan’s view on whether Missguided’s first flagship shop hits the mark. Tune in all week for a plethora of fashion analysis, insight and opinion.
Gemma Goldfingle, features editor