// M&S offers support to suppliers to avoid any coronavirus-linked disruption
// It had asked suppliers to stop all production when lockdown was announced
Marks & Spencer has reportedly offered further support to its suppliers in a bid to avoid disruption amid the coronavirus outbreak.
M&S had asked all of its suppliers to stop production after the UK government announced a lockdown last month.
The retailer said it would pay according to its standard terms for products shipped before March 24.
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It is also paying for all made garments for the vast majority of orders, which makes up 95 per cent of its product spend and is yet to be shipped by that date, Retail Week reported.
Furthermore, M&S will also cover purchases that have already been made by suppliers of “large volumes” of fabric.
It said it would offer vendor finance and letters of credit, providing suppliers with immediate access to cash.
M&S also backed the UN’s International Labour Organisation “to support manufacturers to survive the economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and to protect garment workers’ income, health and employment”.
M&S said it fully supports the efforts of the Ethical Trading Initiative and the International Labour Organisation and will ensure that fabrics do not go to waste and is instead used at a later date.
Meanwhile earlier this week, M&S extended its support to the NHS by sharing the next step of its plans amid the pandemic.
The retailer has been working with NHS teams in recent weeks and is now sending out clothing care packs to hospitals for patients when they get discharged.
It has extended its donations to the following hospitals:
• NHS Nightingale Hospital, Belfast
• NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital, Glasgow
• Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig, The Dragon’s Heart Hospital, Cardiff
• NHS Nightingale Hospital, Birmingham