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Off Balance: Time to check out Tesco’s payment terms (again)

” …WE WANT to work with our suppliers to get back to innovating on behalf of our customers and these changes will make is easier for us to do that.”

These are comments made by Tesco chief Dave Lewis at the latest IDG retail conference, and a big part of this ‘innovation’ is to tell its smallest suppliers that they will receive payments within 14 days.

Off Balance is fascinated at how Tesco will achieve this, what with it having such a bad reputation in how it treats suppliers. In June, the Groceries Code Adjudicator said that 30% of suppliers it spoke to said Tesco rarely complied with the Supply Code of Practice. Only Iceland scored lower.

OB was also reminded of the last Competition Commission (as it was then) back in 2006, when sister title Accountancy Age and credit agency Graydon revealed that only 67% of invoices below £5,000 had been paid on time. Then-FD Andrew Higginson said that “we have electronic payments to suppliers so don’t see that as the case…”.

Can Tesco finally get its house in order? Better late than never…

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