Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Waitrose introduces seven day payment terms for small suppliers

Published:  12 July, 2016

Waitrose announced it would be rolling out seven day payment terms for small suppliers in an industry leading move.

"The internal review of how we pay our smallest suppliers was initiated because we wanted to make our good relationships with small suppliers even better by simplifying the payment process," said Mark Williamson, the commercial director at Waitrose .

The new terms will be phased in over the next two months. Small scale suppliers are defined as those whose business with the retailer is worth less than £100,000.  Once a valid electronic invoice is received the grocer is pledging to pay it within seven days.

"We are passionate about supporting and nurturing British producers - and this step will help give smaller scale businesses, including new start-ups, more financial stability by helping with cash flow," said Williamson.

Waitrose has more than 600 suppliers who will benefit from the change once it is fully implemented.

Supplier relations in the grocery sector were highlighted last year following the investigation into Tesco by the Groceries Code Adjudicator. The GCA found the grocer in serious breach of the code particularly around the issue of delays in payment to suppliers. It emphasised the importance of the issue around payment terms in the grocery sector.

The announcement comes at a time when the grocery sector is under tremendous pressure to hold market share with the introduction of the discount retailers. While some grocers have suffered due to the growth of Aldi and Lidl in the UK, Waitrose has faired well.

According to Kantar Wolrdpanel's latest figures Waitrose has "had an unbroken period of growth dating back to 2009- the best run of any retailer outside of the discounters." The grocer saw sales grow by 1.3% in the last 12 weeks ending on the 19 June 2016.