Boohoo reveals plans for automated factory

Boohoo is set to open a new automated factory in Leicester, the city at the centre of the garment industry labour rights scandal that recently wiped millions off its share price.

The online fashion retailer is understood to have acquired a former Vauxhall dealership in the north of Leicester, as part of plans which were in place before an investigation accused it of paying factory workers just £3.50 an hour.

It launched an investigation into the allegations, led by barrister Alison Levitt QC, while pledging £10 million to “eradicate supply chain malpractice”.

Boohoo, which owns PrettyLittleThing, Karen Millen and NastyGal, produced around 40 per cent of its garments in Leicester.

According to Credit Suisse analysis, the company's profits would drop around 30 per cent by 2022 if it was forced to move production offshore, as it would be slower to respond to changing fashion trends.

While Boohoo is yet to secure planning permission for its high-tech factory, chief executive John Lyttle said he believes "that ‘Made in Britain’ should be a label of pride for those wearing our clothes and badge of honour for those who make them".

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