// Holland & Barrett accused of treating its suppliers “shabbily”
// Small business commissioner Paul Uppal accused it for late payments to suppliers
Holland & Barrett has been accused of treating its suppliers “shabbily” by the small business commissioner and senior MPs.
The British health and wellbeing retailer was accused of having “a purposeful culture of poor payment practices”, in an assessment by the small business commissioner Paul Uppal.
The accusation comes as part of a crackdown on companies that take longer than a few months to pay their suppliers.
Uppal noted that Holland & Barrett took an average of 68 days to pay its invoices and that 60 per cent were not paid within agreed terms.
The intervention took place after Uppal received a complaint from a technology company over an unpaid £15,000 invoice.
“Holland & Barrett’s refusal to cooperate with my investigation, as well as their published poor payment practices, says to me that this is a company that doesn’t care about its suppliers or take prompt payment seriously,” Uppal said.
Holland & Barrett said: “Our agreed payment terms are a standard 90 days, although in fact our average payment time is around 60 days.
“This is a single complaint and is in relation to one invoice for £15,000 for an IT supplier that was lost in our payment process in the run-up to the busy Christmas period.”