Buying practices

Responsible, transparent and traceable supply chains form one of Stockmann’s CSR focus areas and are important for our stakeholders. Our reporting on the supply chain is based on risk assessment, and the ability to exert an influence.

As approximately 80% of the Group’s revenue comes from fashion, we focus especially on responsibility in the fashion supply chain and the development of Stockmann Group’s own brands’ supply chain, which we have the best possibility to exert an influence on.

Our stakeholders, including customers and governmental and non-governmental organisations, are showing increasing interest in our work in the supply chain. The questions raised include our buying practices, the countries of manufacture, our Supplier Code of Conduct, human rights, including living wages, freedom of association and traceability.

In the Stockmann department stores, the major part of merchandise is made up of international and domestic brand products, but we also carry a wide selection of own brand products in women’s, men’s and children’s wear designed by our own designers, and which cannot be purchased anywhere else. In Lindex this applies to the majority of the products.

Buying practises for own brand products

Stockmann does not own any factories or production facilities. Instead, our own brand products are made by contractors. When choosing a supplier, we pay attention to a number of factors. The most important criteria are: the fit with the Stockmann Group’s needs, supplier know-how and ability to deliver, quality and price, CSR with the focus on working conditions and environmental issues, and the potential for long-term relationships. All factories need to fulfil the Stockmann Group’s starting requirements and commit to the common Code of Conduct and continuous improvement. We aim for long relationships with suppliers.

Working at purchasing offices

The Stockmann Group has five local purchasing offices in China (Shanghai and Hong Kong), Bangladesh, India and Turkey. The offices play a key role in developing working conditions and identifying risks. Persons employed by the offices are tasked with supervising purchasing and production. They review the procedures of each factory that they use before any orders are placed, and after which systematic responsibility work continues. Around 91% of Lindex products and approximately 40% of Stockmann’s own brand products are bought via the Stockmann Group’s purchasing offices.

Our local CSR specialists provide training and support to suppliers and factory owners, to help them make improvements in line with our Code of Conduct and environmental requirements, and they also perform announced and unannounced audits. Our local production and quality controllers also visit the production units on a daily basis to ensure that conditions meet our requirements, and they report on any suspected violations of the Code of Conduct.

In addition to audits and training, every aspect of suppliers’ operations is rated according to a ‘supplier scorecard’, which forms the basis for development. Suppliers are evaluated with the score card twice a year, with the Code of Conduct vs. performance being included as a parameter. Based on the evaluation, we grade our suppliers, and those with the best results get the most orders.

Our instructions for suppliers

The Supplier Code of Conduct is the backbone of our buying practices. All suppliers are expected to follow the Stockmann Supplier Code of Conduct, or the amfori BSCI Code of Conduct complemented with Stockmann’s additional requirements, which are made based on detected human rights risks and other risks. These are, for example, the ban on sandblasting of jeans, fundamental requirements for animal rights including
angora and merino wool, leather, fur, feathers and down, the ban on Uzbekistan cotton, and chemical requirements.

Unauthorised subcontracting poses a risk to compliance with our Code. Our producers are always required to inform us about the possible use of sub-contractors in advance. As a result of our risk analysis, we have banned the use of sub-contractors in Bangladesh altogether, this being a zerotolerance issue which will lead to no further orders being placed.

In addition, Stockmann’s department stores have responsibility policies for wood originating from natural tropical forests and for fur. Lindex does not sell products made from real fur.

Transparent communication

We want to communicate transparently about sustainability issues. That's why the country of manufacture is labeled for all our own fashion brands, and we publish the factories and suppliers we use.