Fashion retail group Monsoon Accessorize has been added to the Forum of Private Business’s (FPB) Hall of Shame for increasing supplier payment times, it has been announced today.
Increasing its payment times to suppliers from 60 to 90 days, the retailer has also warned new suppliers that they will be subject to a mandatory four per cent supplier invoice discount.
The FPB has written to Monsoon Accessorize’s interim Managing Director Steve Black, calling for him to reconsider the terms and sign the Prompt Payment Code which seeks to protect suppliers by ensuring subscribers pledge to make payments on time and not change terms and conditions once a contract has been agreed.
FPB spokesman Robert Downes criticised the retailer’s move as a “double whammy” and called the discount charge “outrageous”, adding: Just exactly what planet are they on in the current economic climate?”
“At the end of the day, if supply chain prices are forced up as a result, it’s the consumer – Monsoon customers – who end up paying for their greed.”
It has also been revealed that Monsoon Accessorize offered suppliers the opportunity to be paid more swiftly while offering greater invoice discounting.
Where goods are paid for within seven to 10 days of being received, the group is demanding a 10 per cent discount while payment within 30 days will result in a five per cent discount.
Downes called the decision “shameless” and claimed that it went against open and honest discounting.
He explained: “This is the first time we’ve see a big name brand using invoice discounting to extend payment times.
“The government may well be blushing at this since David Cameron publicly backed invoice financing as a useful tool to help small business improve their cash flow.
“Just how many other firms are adopting such practices on the quiet?
“We know the public are becoming increasingly angry with big business making their own rules up as they go along, and we hope Monsoon customers let them know in the strongest possible way that this is no way for a responsible company to behave.”