The online fashion house plans to expand its warehouse space and invest in IT technology
The pandemic has seen dozens of large-scale businesses shut down, leaving thousands of workers out of jobs during the lockdown. However, one retailer has enjoyed booming sales throughout the pandemic ‘ and plans to take things to even greater heights. Boohoo has announced plans to create 5000 new jobs as part of major investments in the UK over the next five years.
The fast-fashion retailer plans to grow its customer base both in the UK and internationally with a £500 million investment programme, which will see more investment into secure warehouse space and building ‘IT smart solutions’ to increase efficiency. Boohoo, which acquired brands such as Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis this year, plans to create 5,000 new jobs with its expansion plans. In January this year, Boohoo employed 3208 people, and the new roles, of which most will be in the UK, will be within a range of divisions at the business, including logistics, tech, HR and buying.
The company has been actively trying to raise standards across the supply chain, including cutting down the number of suppliers it works with. Boohoo revealed its latest plans in its ‘economic impact report’, where it says the group’s operations in 2020/21 added £559.4 million in GVA to the UK ‘ and the GVA figure equates to around 4.4% of the total UK clothing and footwear retail sector. According to the report, the group’s operations have added almost £2bn in GVA to the UK’s economy since 2009.
“The growth this business has experienced over the last 15 years has been phenomenal, Boohoo group CEO John Lyttle said. It has not been without its challenges, but it is right to celebrate the significant contributions the company makes to the towns and communities where we operate. The investments we have planned will help us to continue our growth, increasing our customer base both at home and abroad, adding even more value as we do so. All of this has only been possible because of the amazing people who form our boohoo family. I am so proud of the way they rise to every challenge and I look forward to growing together as we cement our position as leaders in global fashion e-commerce.”
Last year, Boohoo came under fire for allegations of slave labour in UK third-party factories making clothes for the retailer. According to a report by the Sunday Times, staff were found to have been paid less than half the minimum wage at a Leicester clothing factory. The reporter, who went undercover as a worker at Jaswal Fashions, was told to expect pay of between £3.50 and £4.50 an hour ‘ even though the minimum wage for those aged over 25 in Britain is £8.72. The company responded by cutting ties with hundreds of suppliers under an ‘Agenda for Change’ programme that seeks to ensure good practice. Boohoo said it would continue to closely monitor its suppliers and urged anyone facing abuse to call its dedicated whistle-blower hotline.