Boohoo to spend GBP500mln to expand headcount, tech and warehouse footprint

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Boohoo Group PLC (AIM:BOO) (AIM:BOO), the fast fashion retailer, is planning to spend GBP500mln over the next five years to grow its staff numbers, expand warehouse space and improve its technology.


One of the aims of the investment is to grow the company’s headcount by 5,000 to handle its increased diversification and growing demand for its brands, which range from PrettyLittleThing, NastyGal and TopShop for its younger customers to Karen Millen, Dorothy Perkins and Oasis for the grown-ups, as well as newly acquired Debenhams as a digital department store.


In the first quarter of the year, the AIM-listed outfit saw sales jump 32%, some 91% ahead of the same period two years before.


Many customers do not seem to care, but the company continues to be dogged by criticism of illegally underpaid workers in its UK supply chain, which resulted in an eventual admission that there had been serious labour rights abuses, the commissioning of an independent report by Sir Brian Levenson and then the launch a new sustainability strategy and auditing process.


But at its annual shareholder meeting this June, 12% of shareholders voted to remove co-founder Carol Kane as an executive director amid ongoing fallout from the still-rumbling scandal.


Last month, Sky News reported that workers in Boohoo’s Leicester supply chain were still being exploited, with an employee at one factory approved by the company alleging workers were being instructed by factory owners to hand back portions of their salary in cash.


What’s more, boss Mahmud Kamani was recently ordered to give evidence in a US court case over allegations the retailer had used fake sales and promotions in the country.

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