The UK’s biggest supermarket chain has responded to criticism by pledging to speed up payments to its suppliers.
Tesco’s chief executive, Dave Lewis, said that from next June the company would ensure that payments to its smallest suppliers that deliver up to £100,000 of products annually went out within 14 days. He also promised a “simpler” payment model for the 2,000 firms that supply Tesco, which include a number of small family-owned businesses.
Medium-sized suppliers providing up to £10m of products per year, will have their accounts settled within 23 days and major suppliers will have to wait no more than 28 days.
The company hopes that the move will improve its reputation after accusations were made that it deliberately delayed payments, employed unacceptable methods in booking commercial income from suppliers and routinely flouted industry standards on payments.
Late payments were experienced by 64% of companies in 2016, a recent Coface report found.
A report by the Lloyd’s of London insurance market finds that the sector is second only to financial services as the target of attacks.
The online retail giant is making a major move into the traditional retail sector by acquiring a major US supermarket chain.