Zara owner under pressure to publish supply chain details

The Zara logo on a shopfront.
The Zara logo on a shopfront. Copyright Canva.
By Eleanor Butler
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Unlike other major retailers, Inditex doesn't share the names of its suppliers - a stance that makes investors nervous.

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Investors are putting pressure on Spanish clothing company Inditex to share more information about its supply chain, according to Reuters.

Inditex, the largest apparel retailer in the world, is the owner of brands Zara, Bershka, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Oysho and Stradivarius.

The firm publishes an annual list detailing the number of suppliers it buys goods from in 12 key countries, but the names of specific factories are withheld.

This bucks a trend set by major clothing retailers like Adidas, H&M, and Primark, who all share this information.

Dutch asset manager MN, an Inditex shareholder, told Reuters: "In our engagement with Inditex, one of the things we ask is if they could disclose a list of their suppliers and the geographical location."

"Even though Inditex assures us that they have this data available, up until now Inditex is not willing to disclose this information unlike some industry peers who publish extensive supplier lists."

Shareholders can more effectively manage their investments if they can monitor the reliability of specific suppliers.

Investors and regulators are also encouraging firms to be more transparent about their production in order to combat unethical practices and ensure fair conditions for workers.

KnowTheChain, a group that investigates company labour practices, placed Inditex 15 out of 65 countries ranked in its 2023 assessment.

"The company is encouraged to strengthen its supply chain transparency by disclosing a full, rather than partial, list of its direct suppliers," the firm said.

Inditex nonetheless scored highly for "commitment and governance", a ranking given because of the firm's clarity on internal responsibility for upholding standards on forced labour.

In response to a request from Euronews business, Inditex declined to comment on whether it would be making its supplier list public.

One possibility as to why Inditex doesn't share its information is that, if it did, it could face more competition for the factories in question.

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