Much has been written in both the national and international press about the decision taken by Marks and Spencer, Britain’s largest apparel retailer, to increasingly source its clothing from lower cost countries. This change in buying policy has resulted in a number of well-known suppliers being axed from the M&S supply base, as well as major job losses across the UK, and has left the industry reeling from the severity and suddenness of its move. But is the criticism that has been levelled at the company a fair reflection of the true story? has asked Niki Tait to find out what all the fuss is about, and her conclusions show that the real issue that needs to be examined here is the true nature of overseas purchasing.

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