More retailers and brands have joined the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh ahead of the midnight deadline (15 May).

Some 25 retailers have now signed up to the Accord, with new companies including: Loblaw, Bonmarche, El Corte Inglés, Mango, Carrefour, KiK, Helly Hansen, G-Star, Aldi South, Aldi North, New Look, Mothercare, Next, Loblaw, Sainsbury's and Stockmann.

They join H&MZara owner InditexPrimarkTesco, Marks & Spencer, Benetton, and N Brown Group which have all signed up over the past two days.

Prior to this, PVH (owner of the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands) and German retailer Tchibo had given their backing to an earlier version of the initiative. 

Wal-Mart has confirmed that it will not join the accord, but has ramped up its inspections and safety programme in the country.

Gap has said that it would like to sign the accord, but that it has requested a modification in dispute resolution. It is concerned the current agreement would "essentially be opening the legal floodgates on issues that have not been negotiated in sufficient detail," Gap Inc spokesperson Debbie Mesloh told just-style.

"For American companies to support this agreement, our amendment provides in simple and clear terms how to resolve any disputes so that all parties are held accountable to their commitments," she said.

Negotiations on the pact ramped up after the Rana Plaza building collapse on 24 April, in which more than 1,000 garment workers lost their lives.

The deadline for joining the accord is midnight today (15 May).