A survey of 35 brands and retailers published recently by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRC) found that only 19, including H&M and Zara owner Inditex, were willing to pay for completed orders in full. According to the Workers Rights Consortium’s COVID-19 tracker these include Topshop operator Arcadia Group, Bestseller, C&A, Edinburgh Woolen Mills Group, Gap, JC Penney, Kohl’s, Urban Outfitters, Sears and Walmart-owned Asda.
Eight companies have requested retroactive “discounts” from suppliers for orders they had previously placed. Debenhams, the nonprofit pointed out, has asked for a whopping 90 percent discount. In addition, eight firms including Primark have delayed settling their bills by extending their usual payment term by up to 180 days, or six months.
Three brands—Hermès, N Brown and Zalando—said they have shortened payments for some suppliers to help ease cashflow problems during the crisis. Another 23 said they have taken steps to ensure workers are paid for March and April, and 19 companies said they are helping suppliers access financial resources.