Debt collection in Retail & Fashion

Unpaid invoices within retail and fashion industries are challenges you may be experiencing more and more often. Over the years the payment behaviour within the retail and fashion industry has deteriorated among suppliers and shop owners. Are you encountering one of the following challenges?

  • You have an unpaid invoice
  • Your order has been cancelled or you object the cancellation of the order
  • The shop owner refuses to pay because the delivered products do not match the descriptions
  • The shop owner claims the goods have not been delivered
  • Tailor made goods have been returned meaning that you cannot resale the goods
  • There is confusion over the invoiced brand name

Payment behaviour in retail and fashion

Certain products within the fashion and retail industry are sold seasonally. Many shops already plan a year in advance and decide which types of clothing pieces and brands they wish to sell in their stores. For example, in June, shop keepers will already decide which products they will sell in their stores in December and will purchase the products from suppliers by placing orders. Our experience has shown that business relations among retail and fashion suppliers and shop owners are built on trust. It is a competitive field that is prone to seasonal products. However, we see that 95% of payment conflicts still arise due to unpaid invoices.

Debt collection in retail and fashion

Overall, payments within the retail and fashion sector are better regulated than most other sectors. In most cases, your customer will receive an order confirmation. Half a year later, you will deliver the products and send the invoice. However, it can also happen that the shop decides that they no longer want the stock and cancel the order.

For example, you received an order to supply shoes to a store. You have produced the goods and ensured that all necessary arrangements have been made. Just before dispatching the goods, your customer cancels the order. As products are seasonally bound, their value can rapidly decrease over time. Now that your customer has cancelled the order, you are left with an unsold stock of shoes that may no longer be fashionable in three months’ time. Therefore, you will have to take immediate action. Our lawyers at Bierens can then help you retrieve your unpaid invoice.

How to deal with an unpaid invoice in retail and fashion

When you receive an order from a customer, a payment term of 60 days usually applies. In case of cancellation and if legal action is necessary, our lawyers will always investigate the situation and circumstances. For instance, in your contract you may have already stipulated that cancellation is not possible or comes with a fine. If your customer still refuses to pay, our lawyer will investigate their contractual obligations, the type of products that were produced and if your company has suffered from any damages. Based on your specific case, our lawyers will provide you with honest and practical implications in order to retrieve your unpaid invoice.

Debt collection disputes in retail and fashion

Not only can a simple outstanding invoice lead to payment conflict, in our experience we have dealt with several complex issues. For example, a supplier has made tailored undershirts for a store. A discussion arises based on if the sizes are correct. The invoice is sent but the customer refuses to pay. This means that the business will experience a loss, as the goods cannot be re-sold. What are you supposed to do and ensure you receive the payment that you are entitled to?

Or, the customised goods are simply returned. The supplier only finds out that the shop owner is dissatisfied, after having the goods returned. By this time however, it is already too late to take any action. The customer refuses to pay and has returned the goods without informing the supplier. The supplier is again left with no payment and unsold stock.

Other common payment conflicts may arise if your company operates under different brand names. When a customer receives an invoice, this may lead to confusion and they may refuse to pay the company they claim they have never done business with. Regardless of what kind of unpaid invoice your company may be facing, our lawyers have the right resources and knowledge to help you.

How can we help you?

Our working method – No Cure No Pay

During the extrajudicial phase, we work based on No Cure No Pay. We believe it is important to try to solve the case during this phase, without court intervention. You will only have to pay €150 for administrative costs. Should legal action be necessary, then we can help you perform a credit check and analyse your debtor’s financial status. We will discuss the costs with you and will only start working on your case after receiving your permission.

International debt collection in retail and fashion

If your client is located abroad, you may also encounter an unpaid invoice. Our team of international experts can get your debtor to pay. They have the knowledge and experience with both national and international debt collection in the retail and fashion industry. Based on our experience we have seen that many agreements are made with international customers. If you need any help with regards to agency agreements, distribution agreement or intellectual property, you can contact us for more information.

Advantages when hiring our debt collection lawyers

  • We retrieve the payment that you are entitled to
  • No Cure No Pay debt collection
  • Extensive knowledge and experience within the retail and fashion sector
  • We can help you with your national and international case
  • We can help you throughout the entire process, from talking to your client to executing a verdict
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Debt collection lawyers in retail and fashion

We understand the payment behaviour of companies in the retail and fashion industry. We know how such agreements should work in theory and in practice. By handing over your debt collection case to a specialist debt recovery law firm, you can resume your regular operations. We ensure that the outcome will be executed in the right way.

Our specialists

For years, Bierens has helped many companies across different industries. Our team of debt collection lawyers also specialise in international debt collection. Whether you have a debt collection case in your own country or abroad, our lawyers have the expertise and knowledge to help you. Do you have a client in the retail and fashion sector who has left your invoice unpaid? Has your client cancelled an order meaning you are left with unsold stock? Then send us your invoice right away. Our specialists will immediately start working on your case.

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