Primark fashions was a business enterprise started thirty years ago in the state of Ireland then grew overtime and established branches in UK (Lawton, 2007). Primark fashions have built a strong reputation and command respect worldwide for its multinational dominance (Pojman, & Fieser, 2007). The company has head offices in Dublin and reading, England (Arnold, 2009). Today, Primark fashions have opened over two hundred and fifteen shops countrywide and it is set to expand with time (Lawton, 2007). Primark fashions have continued to achieve huge profit margin due to its strategic cost-management strategies (Arnold, 2009). Primark fashion realizes its growth determinant by staining to meet customer needs (Wankel & Malleck, 2010). Through this, they are able to explore new ventures and the market expands (Wankel & Malleck, 2010).
Primark fashions produce a wide range of clothes. They produce women wear at very affordable prices (Wankel & Malleck, 2010). In addition, Primark fashions produces garments for all other sides and genders (Wankel & Malleck, 2010). Footwears are also produced in plenty to provide customers with a wide variety to select from. The company is famous for retailing their products at budget end favorable prices (Wankel & Malleck, 2010).
Ethical issues at Primark fashions
Every firm works towards realizing its set goals and objectives (Lawton, 2007). In a recent incident that occurred, the company’s management cut off links with three of its suppliers (Lavery, 2006). After an investigation carried out by BBC, panorama unveiled the inhumane activities its suppliers were up to (Lawton, 2007). They labor underage children who were being overworked characterized markets of the suppliers (Arnold, 2009). The children aged as low as eleven years worked in factories where they sew t-shirts and were poorly paid (Lawton, 2007).
The scum by Primark’s suppliers greatly affected the company’s operations as its operations declined a great deal (Lawton, 2007). The investigation by BBC’s panorama program further revealed that in the refugee camps pitched at southern India were mainly composed of underage children who were required to work for long hours of working (Lawton, 2007). In addition, the children had to work in filthy and bad working environments (Arnold, 2009). They made some of the designs that if sold would escalate Primark’s profit margin (Lavery, 2006). However, public image has been ruined and it profits have registered a downward trend (Lawton, 2007).
The current situation at Primark fashion has enraged the public and they have as a result, demanded that the UK government enact rules to ensure companies are sensitive to worker’s rights (Arnold, 2009). The company was left to deal with negative publicity caused by its supplier’s negligence (Wankel & Malleck, 2010). While the company continued to flourish, nothing changed for the young laborers. In fact, their situation grew worse due to poor health. Companies ignore ethical issues that are supposed to be adhered to regarding human rights (Arnold, 2009).
Primark has failed in a great way by not addressing ethical issues affecting its environs (Wankel & Malleck, 2010). However, Primark is determined to its customers and position in the market (Lawton, 2007). Primark fashions have resolved to maintain its market share and dominance by sourcing products effectively coupled with manufacturing of clothes with simpler and cheaper designs (Arnold, 2009). Another strategy adopted by Primark is to make good use of local fabrics while manufacturing the most common sizes in large quantities (Wankel & Malleck, 2010). The spending on advertisement has been cut on to ensure profits are maximized (Lawton, 2007).
Research conducted by BBC panorama further revealed the children laborers in the camps earned very less (Wankel & Malleck, 2010). In fact, every five children were paid the salary of one adult (Wankel & Malleck, 2010). This was not taken very well by people as they found it s valid reason for Primark fashions to charge less for their goods due to the low cost of labor (Wankel & Malleck, 2010). The company had pressured bottom of production in sourcing activities to ensure suppliers attained cheap labor in return. In this sense, the company failed in respecting societal issues and addressing their needs (Wankel & Malleck, 2010).
Business ethics is business responsibility to the community or society (Arnold, 2009). Ethics are a set of rules, which are supposed to guide a person, or firms conduct mainly inclined towards doing the right things (Lawton, 2007). A major responsibility is that of looking on to the needs of the wider community in executing business activities (Lawton, 2007). Part of this responsibility entails also catering for the employees needs. Primark fashions are an international company and that means it has a large base of suppliers (Wankel & Malleck, 2010). The company is well aware of its social responsibilities and has therefore, embraced the task of promoting social welfare (Lawton, 2007). Despite the bad image of Primark fashions portrayed by it still has its primary values and goals embedded on ethics (Pojman, & Fieser, 2007).
Primark fashion has three main goals, which are taking good care of its employees, fostering good relations with the entire community fraternity as well as creating healthy business ethical relationships (Lawton, 2007). The company has chain of suppliers extending to over sixteen countries (Pojman, & Fieser, 2007). The company’s stakeholders have made it their prime objective to ensure all those directly or indirectly linked to the firm act in a human and responsible way towards employees (Lawton, 2007).
Primark fashions have an ethical director to increase efficiency (Pojman, & Fieser, 2007). His main responsibilities are to ensure that the company’s products are sourced ethically and improve the well-being of the community as a whole. Rights of workers should be given first priority by any firm (Wankel & Malleck, 2010). When a company’s stakeholders work in line with ethical issues, a company’s reputation grows and risks in business become minimal (Wankel & Malleck, 2010).
Actions I could take to resolve the crisis
When Primark fashions or any other firm for that matter engages itself to observing ethics, it incurs positive costs to the society such as it creates job opportunities and assisting suppliers to operating effectively (Lawton, 2007). Ethical issues well portrayed by Primark we could say are those entailing its responsibility to the society, suppliers and customers as a whole (Wankel & Malleck, 2010). Despite the company experiencing hitches with its suppliers, we can see that it makes tremendous efforts to make the situation better (Lawton, 2007).
Supposing other issues of ethics negligence emerged among for example the shareholders, i would do my level best to redefine a company’s objective to ensure that all know what is expected of them (Lawton, 2007). To ensure that even suppliers are also playing their roles well, i would reemphasize the code of ethics to ensure that the society and the company are operating, as it ought to (Lavery, 2006). After the big disappoint meant by some of the suppliers, Primark fashion is now more than careful to ensure such a bad act never happens again (Pojman, & Fieser, 2007). If I were the CEO, I would ensure that labor requirements were well met, and, regularly accessed to keep them up to date (Wankel & Malleck, 2010). The first step to rectify a situation that seems not right like that, that of suppliers is by finding the niche in the society. If for instance, labor is an issue, a step is taken (Wankel & Malleck, 2010).
Actions I would take to resolve the crisis
One key factor to be checked by Primark in order to ensure that it maintains its market position and recognition would be mostly to work on ensuring consumers are awarded value for their money (Wankel & Malleck, 2010). In addition, working hand in hand with organizations as labor organizations are helpful in especially evaluating rights for all workers. Auditors are also of use when it comes to evaluating standards of suppliers (Pojman, & Fieser, 2007). The moral lesson for promoting good ethics is all to be human, kind and considerate to those around us.
Lawton, C. (2007). Ethical issues in six religious traditions. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Wankel, C., & Malleck, S. K. (2010). Emerging ethical issues of life in virtual worlds. Charlotte, N.C: Information Age Pub.
Lavery, J. V. (2006). Ethical issues in international biomedical research: A casebook. New York: Oxford University Press.
Leadbeater, B. (2006). Ethical issues in community-based research with children and youth. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Arnold, R. (2009). Fashion. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Odih, P. (2010). Advertising and cultural politics in global times. Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate.
Blanchard, T. (2007). Green is the new black: How to change the world with style. London: Hodder & Stoughton publishers
Jones, J. (2007). Fashion design: The art of style. Mankato, Minn: Capstone Press.
Palmer, A. (2004). Fashion: A Canadian perspective. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press.
Blackman, C. (2007). 100 years of fashion illustration. London: Laurence King publishers
Iverson, A. (2010). In fashion: From runway to retail, everything you need to know to break into the fashion industry. New York: Clarkson Potter publishers
Pojman, L. P., & Fieser, J. (2007). Ethics: Discovering right and wrong. Belmon, Calif: Wadsworth publishers
Bonhoeffer, D., Green, C. J., Krauss, R., West, C. C., & Stott, D. W. (2005). Ethics. Minneapolis: Fortress Press
Aristotle, & Smith, J. A. (2006). Ethics. Teddington, Middlesex: Echo Library publishers
Singer, P. (2008). Practical ethics. Cambridge [u.a.: Cambridge Univ. Press.
Friedman, T. L. (2007). The world is flat: A brief history of the twenty-first century. New York: Picador/Farrar, Straus and Giroux publishers