In the aftermath of a damning report on working conditions at ASOS.com’s Barnsley distribution centre, Boss Nick Beighton has insisted that the company has nothing to hide, and that MP’s and committee officials are welcome to tour the premises.
The investigation followed a GMB campaign that raised concerns from GMB members at the Barnsley site over various health and safety issues including hot working conditions and a lack of access to water and toilets.
The report follows similar accusations pointed at Sports Direct earlier in the year. Beighton commented:
- "I'm disappointed that inaccurate and misleading things have been said about how we manage our warehouse at Barnsley in Yorkshire.
- "Where we've been able, we have tried to set the record straight, but some misrepresentation continues.
- "I take huge exception to the idea that we are secretive and exploit our people. We have nothing to hide and much to be proud of."
Jenny Holloway, CEO of Fashion Enter added:
- “When I consider how much time and effort ASOS.com has put into social enterprises such as Fashion Enter, Princess Trust and SOKO in South Africa I can hardly believe I am reading about the same company!
- “ASOS.com has pioneered apprenticeships and was the first fashion company six-years ago to trial a Level 3 apprentice. They invested in the Stitching Academy, the Fashion Technology Academy and helped provide pump prime finance for the factory. Our compliance to be a supplier to ASOS.com is so rigiourous too.
- “I personally know Nick Beighton and he's such a good man...is this the GMB driving up memberships? Controversial I know, but what would happen if Barnsley closed and opened in Germany after Brexit? I'm glad Nick has opened the doors to MPs because I'm positive there's nothing to hide.”
The negative press arrives just when ASOS.com revealed a 26% rise in full year sales to £1.4billion and a 37% jump in pre-tax profits to £63.7million.
Despite the strained economy, tough trading conditions and the latest accusations; Beighton and the company remain positive for the future; upping its game in technology and logistics, as well as bringing more of its manufacturing back to home soil.