Coronavirus crisis: retailers shut up shop but will they pay up?

Ian Carrotte: some retailers are using coronavirus as an excuse not to pay suppliers

As the coronavirus crisis mounted several stores who had been teetering on the brink of collapse decided to call in the administrators. Others who have been forced by Government decree to shut their doors may never reopen unless the emergency caused by coronavirus is short-lived.

Laura Ashley, Mountain Warehouse and Carphone Warehouse have called it a day while stores deemed unnecessary during the virus emergency have been shut. Hairdressers, department stores, sports shops (including Sports Direct who initially challenged the rule), fashion outlets and all manner of specialist retailers are on lockdown.

They include Primark who have closed their 189 UK stores along with John Lewis and Timpson, while more than 2,000 John Lewis workers are already working across Waitrose their sister company.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said the main concern was how the retailers were going to pay their suppliers many of whom are printers, hauliers, manufacturers and members of the service industries ranging from recruitment companies to freelance designers.

He said: “My warning to all those with outstanding invoices to retailers who have closed their doors is to chase their accounts departments as some are using coronavirus as an excuse not to pay. In reality many have cash reserves and can settle accounts that are overdue.”

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