CIPS response to GCA investigation of Tesco

CIPS 5 February 2015

David Noble,Group CEO at CIPS issues a statement following GCA launching an inquiry into Tesco's treatment of suppliers.


David Noble, Group Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) said:

“We welcome the GCA’s investigation but firm action on late payment is long past its sell by date. Unchecked retailers have felt free to abuse their power for far too long and suppliers across the UK are owed billions of pounds in unpaid invoices.*

“If there has indeed been wrong-doing by Tesco, the regulator must have the teeth to force change. But this remedial action is tantamount to closing the stable door once the horse has bolted. For too long the retail sector has felt able to operate according to its own norms and practices without regard for best practice in procurement and supply chain management. To really sort out this mess at source, there needs to be clear accountability and higher standards within the retail procurement industry as a whole. 

“Regulatory action or no, if the UK’s retail supply chains are run without the right people in place and for the sole purpose of reducing costs and squeezing suppliers, it will only be a matter of time until the next scandal comes to light. We must take this opportunity to change course now.

“How many more scandals will it take for us to realise that the solution is to have qualified and competent professionals managing supply chains? At CIPS we will continue to call for increased professionalism, accountability and responsibility.  Enough is enough.”

*Figures taken from:

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