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Commissioner highlights poor payment practices at Holland & Barrett

 Monday 8th April, 2019

Paul Uppal, The Small Business Commissioner has highlighted poor supplier payment practices at the health food chain Holland & Barrett following his report into a case.

A complaint was logged with the commissioner by a London-based technology consultancy after Holland & Barrett failed to pay a £15,000 invoice for a Search Engine Optimisation project within the agreed payment terms. According to the report by Uppal the invoice took 67 days to be paid, which was outside of the contractual agreement of 30 days.

Following the intervention by Uppal, Holland & Barrett paid in full 28 days after the complaint was submitted.

Uppal contacted Holland & Barrett to discuss its payment practices, but the company refused to meet with the Commissioner.

The commissioner suggests in his report “is an example of a purposeful culture of poor payment practices at Holland & Barrett.”

Uppal pointed to data showing that Holland & Barrett took an average of 68 days to pay their invoices and 60% of invoices were not paid within agreed terms.

Small Business Commissioner, Paul Uppal, commented:  “Holland & Barrett’s refusal to co-operate with my investigation, as well as their published poor payment practices says to me that this is a company that doesn’t care about its suppliers or take prompt payment seriously.

“The request for anonymity by the business owner demonstrates small businesses remain in fear of challenging large businesses on their payment practices for fear of retribution. This should be a warning to suppliers that I will keep a spotlight on businesses that are not addressing late payment and use the powers available to me to highlight poor payment practice.”