M&S in supplier controversyFriday, 10 July 2009
Marks & Spencer was accused of hypocrisy yesterday when it emerged that the retailer shared suppliers with Primark, only a day after it attacked the discount fashion industry over subsistence wages.
Sir Stuart Rose, the executive chairman of M&S, told its shareholders on Wednesday: “You cannot sell a T-shirt in the UK for £2 and pay the designer and pay for the raw materials and pay the manufacturer and pay the rents and pay the rates and pay the carriage and pay the insurance and pay the freight — and pay a fair living wage to the person who made it. I won’t sell a T-shirt for £2."
However, Associated British Foods (ABF), the owner of Primark, cast a shadow over M&S’s ethical stance by confirming yesterday that it shared some suppliers with its upmarket rival. John Bason, the group finance director of ABF, said: “Sometimes people think Primark sources from people different to everyone else on the high street.”