Steile These, Paul Lister!

„Nachhaltigkeit und Preis haben nichts miteinander zu tun“

Der Primark-Manager im Interview mit Charleen Florijn für Orange by Handelsblatt.


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Mehr als 20 Jahre journalistische Arbeit bei der TextilWirtschaft. Als Redakteur, Korrespondent, Business-Ressortleiter. Chefredakteur von 2006 bis 2011. Die TextilWirtschaft ist das führende Medium für das Modebusiness im deutschsprachigen Europa. Seit 2012 selbstständig in der Personalberatung. 2016 Gründer von SUITS. Executive Search.

2 Antworten auf „Steile These, Paul Lister!

  1. Not that preposterous a claim.

    Primark generates huge orders per style – being one of the prime drivers of price – the efficiency in manufacturing. This efficiency in manufacturing coupled with a company with everything internally geared towards efficiency and keeping margins lo, makes the combination of low price and being a fair trading partner very simple.

    Compare this to the model that requires 35 salesman samples in full color sets prior to an order being placed (usually un or underpaid), 40% of which never make it to production. That is wasted human energy, resources and costs, and often followed by orders that barely scratch minimum order quantities. This is a massive under-utilization of expensive machinery, manpower and other inputs. Running 3000pcs through a line a day at perfect efficiency uses the same amount of electricity, human hours, overhead, merchandising, sampling, approvals, digitization hours, testing costs and the like as operating that line at 800pcs of a style that has wastage all along.

    This does not even go into how much easier it is to be a fair employer when you know you can provide regular work and a paycheck to your employees. Large scale regular orders of good volume do way more of this than small to medium size orders in irregular fashion. There is a reason why you see small factories with very small internal workforce, and a lot of „outsourcing“ – a Corporate Social Responsibility nightmare – and one I see far more in areas we consider „close to home“ than far afield. Flexible – without regular large volume – is usually borne out by the lowest earning employees.

    Now take that branded good, with a markup to wholesale of at least x 2, and a retail margin of x3 and you have a retail price 6 times what it cost (I will admit, there are some sustainable brands working on margins lower than this – and this lack of profitability is perhaps well intentioned, but hardly sustainable). At Primark that number is closer to x2 than it is to x3 – and due to other efficiencies along the way a first cost that is 25% lower, and the math gets really easy.

    The partners I work with on the manufacturing side want nothing more than dependable volume with little complexity. It provides the most sustainable business model and the best opportunity to focus on improving the standard of living for employees as well as as social and environmental sustainability.


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