25 July 2008
A small supplier has challenged retailer Alliance Boots after it altered payment terms.
Boots wrote to vendors in January informing them that from 1 April, payment times would increase to a minimum of 75 days and transactions would be subject to a 2.5 per cent "settlement charge" (News, 10 April 2008).
But Justine Thompson, owner of training business MTa International, said she refused to accept the changes and threatened to "boycott" the high street chain.
She told SM: "I threatened to kick up a big fuss and refused to accept the terms. I later got a call from the procurement department who said I was a preferred supplier and I would be paid within 30 days."
Boots said it was unable to comment on individual suppliers and said it believed its purchasing strategy was "in line with other groups of a similar size".
Simon Briault, spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses, urged other small vendors to take similar action if large organisations introduced "unfair" billing.