Primark boasted that it audited its factories before the Savar factory disaster
PRIMARK, the highly profitable budget fashion retailer owned by Associated British Foods, has vowed to compensate loved ones of the 350 people killed when the Savar clothing factory collapsed in Dhaka,Bangladesh. Primark said it “accepts all its responsibilities in this disaster”.
Back on February 21, Retail Week reported on Primark. When the horse meat scandal topped the news cycle, Primark’s Katherine Kirk, Primark’s ethical trading director spoke:
“I agree with the principle of sharing information, which we do through the Better Work Programme, but the issue with other programmes and audits, as we’ve lived and learned, is that if a supplier has paid for an audit it might not have as much detail as one we are paying for ourselves.”
Primark, which previously suffered exposés on alleged poor working practices in its supply chain, has dramatically stepped up monitoring of its suppliers since 2009 when it appointed Kirk. She has built up a team of 30 staff working on ethical trade in Bangladesh, China, India and Turkey. They carry out factory audits of all suppliers before Primark places an order.
Using its own team gives Primark faith in assessments and allows it to immediately tackle any problems.
In March, we were told:
Primark has continued to defy the economic gloom that has dogged other fashion retailers by reporting a 24% jump in sales, as its strategy of embracing the high street over the internet has paid off. The bargain clothing chain saw sales rise to £2bn in the six months to the beginning of March, with operating profits increasing 56% to £238m.
Such are the facts.