Waitrose cuts payment terms for small suppliers

Waitrose is cutting the time it takes to pay small suppliers by rolling out seven day payment terms.

Alton-waitrose-3Over the next two months, the retailer will phase in the new terms, which will benefit suppliers whose business with Waitrose is worth less than £100,000 per annum. Around 100 wine, beer, spirit and cider suppliers are set to benefit, a Waitrose spokesman confirmed – around a sixth of the total small suppliers affected, many of whom are British suppliers.

Waitrose’s commercial director Mark Williamson said it initiated an internal review of payment terms for its smallest suppliers in order to improve relationships as well as to simplify the payment process. The process was started at the start of the year.

“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,” he said.

Previously, Waitrose suppliers had to wait 45 days for payment.

It follows a similar move by Tesco who cut its payment time from 28 days to 14 for small suppliers in October 2015, with medium-sized suppliers (supplying less than £10m-worth per annum) waiting 55 days instead of 60.

The BWS category has some of the longest payment terms, exceeded only by clothing and general merchandise from overseas.

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