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Boohoo says report of poor warehouse working conditions not reflective of site

FILE PHOTO: A smartphone with the Boohoo logo displayed is seen on a keyboard in this illustration

LONDON (Reuters) - British online fashion retailer Boohoo said a report in The Times newspaper alleging poor working conditions at its warehouse in Burnley, northern England, was not reflective of the working environment at the site.

The report highlighted what it said were "gruelling targets, inadequate training and ill-fitting safety equipment."

In response a Boohoo spokesperson said: “Boohoo is taking every claim very seriously, but does not believe the picture painted is reflective of the working environment at our Burnley warehouse."

“Making sure our people are safe and comfortable in their workplace is our highest priority," the spokesperson said, adding that through the firm's employee engagement programme staff "tell us that they are happy with their working environment, feel valued and feel listened to."

The Times report is not the first time Boohoo has faced scrutiny.

In 2020, the retailer, which sells clothing, shoes and accessories aimed at 16 to 40-year-olds, accepted all the recommendations of an independent review that found major failings in its supply chain in England after newspaper allegations about working conditions and low pay in factories in the Leicester area that supplied it.

Boohoo pledged to fix those problems with its "Agenda for Change" programme and in March last year revealed a major consolidation in its list of British suppliers.

In September, Boohoo warned on full year sales and profit, blaming the worsening macro-economic and consumer backdrop as it reported a 58% fall in first-half core earnings.

Shares in Boohoo are down 68% this year.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Jason Neely)