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5 Jul 2023

Laura Mcguire, City A.M.

Asia: Garment suppliers report Matalan engaging in 'most aggressive, unreasonable' buying practices they have ever seen

"Matalan accused of ‘cowboy buying practices’ in cost-cutting drive", 5 July 2023

A group of Asian suppliers has accused Matalan of “cowboy buying practices,” after the value retailer reportedly attempted to haggle for 20 per cent price cuts on some orders. 

The disgruntled supplier said the fashion and homewares brand displayed some of the  “most aggressive, unreasonable buying practices” they had ever seen, speaking to The Times on condition of anonymity. 

The anonymous source also accused Matalan of playing suppliers against one another in a plot to cut costs, all while “raising issues about quality and other issues in order to justify requesting huge discounts”.

Concerns have been raised that its practices could have a negative impact on vulnerable garment workers. 

“As a garment maker, I am familiar with aggressive buying practices, however, Matalan has taken things to another level,” another Asian supplier told the outlet. 

Matalan has disputed these claims telling City A.M it is “fully committed to conducting all business in an honest and ethical manner and dispute these claims”.

“In line with industry standards, commercial negotiations for new orders take place each season and typically factor in multiple elements. These include notable upward or downward shifts in raw material costs as well as non-financial considerations. 

They added: “We believe that open two-way negotiations are a valuable part of forging successful collaborative partnerships. We value our long-term and established supplier relationships in delivering better products for consumers.”...

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