LONDON – British firm of fashion leader Boohoo Group unveiled plans to create 5,000 new jobs on the back of an investment program worth more than £ 500 million across the country over the next five years in its financial impact report released on Thursday .
The online retailer said the new hires will help the company meet increased demand from international markets such as the US and Australia, which now represent around 50 per cent of its business, as it plans to acquire additional storage space and invest in smart technological solutions to streamline its processes.
The report revealed that in the 2020-21 financial year, the group’s operations contributed £ 559.4 million in gross value added to the UK, a 34 per cent increase on the previous year, supporting an estimated 8,050 full-time equivalent jobs. The figure equates to around 4.4 per cent of the total retail clothing and footwear sector in the UK.
It also shows the regional effects of the group’s activities. About 94 per cent of the jobs and economic benefits created by the Boohoo Group take place outside London. Across the north-west of England, where the group’s international distribution center and headquarters are based, in Burnley Manchester, respectively, contributed £ 309 million in gross value added to the regional economy. As of January 2021, the group employed 3,208 people in the region.
John Lyttle, CEO of Boohoo Group, now said it was “right to celebrate the significant contributions the company makes to the cities and communities in which we operate.”
“The investments we have planned will help us continue our growth, increase our customer base both at home and abroad and add even more value as we do so. All of this has only been possible because of the amazing people who make up our Boohoo family, ”he added.
Even before the pandemic, Boohoo had gone on a business trip when traditional British high street players suffered the rise of online games like Asos and Boohoo. The group now operates more than 13 brands, including Boohoo, Boohoo Man, Pretty Little Thing, Nasty Gal and Misspap, as well as acquired UK brands such as Karen Millen, Coast, Oasis, Warehouse, Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton.
This report can also be seen as Boohoo’s attempt to shed its negative image after revelations that some of its Leicester suppliers had run sweatshop relationships during COVID-19 shutdowns, where migrant workers in some cases earned as little as £ 3m in timen.
In response to accusations, the group said in March that it had deleted its supplier list and was now working with 78 UK companies compared to the 500 producers it had partnered with until last year. The company also planned to stop subcontracting jobs to get better visibility across the supply chain.
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