Wal-Mart Nixed Paying Bangladesh Suppliers to Fight Fire

Author: Renee Dudley & Arun Devnath, Bloomberg, Published on: 5 December 2012

At a meeting convened in 2011 to boost safety at Bangladesh garment factories, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. made a call: paying suppliers more to help them upgrade their manufacturing facilities was too costly. The...meeting...was attended by more than a dozen retailers including Gap Inc., Target Corp. and JC Penney Co. Details...have emerged after a fire at a Bangladesh factory [Tazreen Fashion (part of Tuba Group)] that made clothes for Wal-Mart and Sears Holdings Corp. killed more than 100 people...At the...meeting...Sridevi Kalavakolanu, a Wal-Mart director of ethical sourcing, told attendees the company wouldn’t share the cost [of safety improvements], according to Ineke Zeldenrust...[of] Clean Clothes Campaign, who attended... Kalavakolanu and her counterpart at Gap reiterated their position in a report folded into the meeting minutes...PVH Corp., which owns...Tommy Hilfiger..., and...Tchibo signed the memorandum [on safety improvements] earlier this year...Kevin Gardner, a Wal-Mart spokesman, declined to discuss the Dhaka meeting or what was said there. “We know that continued engagement is critical to ensure that reliable, proactive measures are in place to reduce the chance of factory fires,” he said...[also includes comments by Gap; also refers to Foxconn (part of Hon Hai), Apple, Swan Group, Foot Locker]

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Related companies: Apple C&A Foot Locker Foxconn (part of Hon Hai) Gap Hon Hai J.C. Penney PVH (Phillips-Van Heusen) Sears Target Tchibo Walmart