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Holland & Barrett improves payment practices during current climate

Thursday 30th July, 2020

Health retailer Holland & Barrett has committed to paying its smaller partners on time under the advice of the Small Business Commissioner. This follows a report from the Commissioner’s Office published in April 2019.

The Commissioner held an initial review meeting with Holland & Barrett in September 2019 where the company provided evidence of their plans to make procedural changes to tackle late payments in their small business supply chain.

In June 2020, Holland & Barrett provided further evidence demonstrating how the company has increased its efficiency by ensuring timely payments.

The Commissioner is encouraged by the commitment Holland & Barrett has demonstrated by adopting the recommendations as a tool to ensure enhanced communication of, and compliance with, their existing processes, especially during the current pandemic.

Interim Small Business Commissioner, Philip King said: “Holland & Barrett has provided evidence of regularly monitoring payment performance and commissioning an independent audit. As a consequence, standardised terms and conditions have been introduced which incorporate more flexibility for new and small suppliers, new supplier guidelines have been published, and an invoice query escalation process has been implemented.

Tony Buffin CEO of Holland & Barrett said: “As a health and wellness retailer, the financial health of our suppliers is very important to us. We work with many small businesses and often help them gain their first foothold in retail through our nationwide network of stores or through our online channel. We acted quickly on the recommendations of the Small Business Commissioner to make sure that we had simple and clear payment processes offering even more flexibility to our newest and smallest suppliers. We feel this is a particularly important step forward at a time when our customers want to take more positive control of their health and when the innovation in wellness delivered by our suppliers is more vital than ever.”

The Office of the Small Business Commissioner has helped small businesses get back over £7.2 million in unpaid invoices (Dec 17 – June 2020).

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