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By July 28, 2020 Read More →

AGENDA WEST BUSINESS NEWS: Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite ‘ethical’ fashion firm liquidated; millionaire owner set to axe 500 jobs; and Holland & Barrett are shamed for late payments to suppliers

The bigger they come the harder they fall seems to be apt at the moment with Arcadia in negotiations to save their business, Debenhams up for sale and Selfridges making hundreds redundant

Ethical brand leaves £1m in unpaid invoices

The ethical fashion brand Beulah has been heralded by the Duchess of Cambridge for its stylish outfits made by women who had been victims of human trafficking and exploitation. Founded in 2011 by socialites Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs (Prince William’s ex-girlfriend) and Lavinia Brennan the business did well with the likes of  Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Natalia Vodianova, Sarah Jessica Parker, Pippa Middleton and The Duchess of Cambridge championing the brand. But with dresses pitched at £500 a snip the line has not sold well during Covid-19 and the slump in High street sales and has been liquidated leaving creditors £1m out of pocket.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said: “If you trade off the theme of being an ethical company and then dump a million quid in supplier’s invoices when you go bust, it sticks in the throat. Beulah are not so ethical after all as the staff were not paid by the well-heeled titled owner when it collapsed.”

Millionaire set to sack 500 staff in restructure plans

Arcadia Group’s owner Sit Philip Green is seeking to restructure the retail group in a bid to overcome a pension deficit of £727m that has dragged the group into crisis in part due to the lockdown. Arcadia includes retailers Topshop, Burton, Evans, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins and still is a power in the High Street despite the recent problems and so have pitched their cost cutting plans to the Pensions Regulator according to the Sunday Times. His planned cuts include slashing 500 jobs at Arcadia’s head office while some of its 550 stores may also be shut.

“Suppliers must be very cautious,” said Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit, “retailers in general are struggling and as we have seen time and again it is the SMEs who are left out of pocket when they fall into administration.”

Health store slammed for late payment

The image of health food store Holland & Barrett has taken a hit for its poor supplier payment practices for taking an average of 68 days to pay them. The firm has been publicly criticised by MPs along with the Small Business Commission for what was described as “a purposeful culture of poor payment practices.”

Paul Uppal, the small business commissioner, received a complaint from one supplier about an unpaid invoice of £15,000. The firm hit back saying they paid on 90 days in general and reduce the time for small businesses.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said this was ridiculous as to be owed £15,000 for almost three months could put some firms in peril. He said: “It is high time there was legislation to implement the EU directive of 2014 to make 30 days mandatory as called for by the Federation of Small Businesses.”

About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel – while at the moment there’s a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach – ask for details from Paul.

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website www.icsmcredit.com or email Ian at Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

To keep up to date subscribe to the FREE ICSM Credit Newsletter to hear all the latest insolvency news and to see who has gone out of business click on the orange panel on the top left of the home page of the website www.icsmcredit.com or send an email to Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk

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