Honesty, integrity and fair treatment of our own associates, our
customers and our suppliers have been the basic principles of the
business ever since the day I opened the first Limited store in 1963. I
have always insisted that we conduct our business according to ethical
standards that all of us could point to with pride. In a very real
sense, the company has been an extension of our long-standing commitment
to the idea that success requires every person associated with us be
treated fairly, and that every product we offer the public be of the
I am determined that The Limited, Inc. conduct its business in
accordance with high ethical standards. The demands of our customers for
diverse and affordable merchandise of the highest quality can only be
met by the development of a sourcing base that is increasingly flexible,
diverse and global in scope. The continued growth and
internationalization of our activities will inevitably present
challenges to the principles that we hold most dear.
All of our associates are expected to support actively our principles
through two concurrent activities: first, we must be advocates of those
standards to our vendors and their subcontractors, and encourage the
development of a supplier base that constantly seeks to improve its
quality and work conditions. Second, we must vigilantly guard against
violations of the letter or spirit of our principles.
It's important that every associate understand the policy that guides
our relationships with vendors and their subcontractors, as outlined in
this booklet. Our relationships with others say a great deal about us,
our values and our standards. We all share a responsibility for
improving the world in which we live, and it is up to each one of us to
implement our standards, and to create greater quality and greater
opportunity in every community in which we live and work.
Thank you for your participation in this ongoing effort.
The Limited, Inc.'s vendor policy is quite simple: we will actively
seek and favor suppliers whose standards are compatible with our own,
and we will not do business with companies or individuals that do not
meet those standards.
Our policy consists of three components:
- 1) Principles
- 2) Education
- 3) Enforcement
We expect our suppliers to comply with all applicable laws,
regulations and industry standards. Period.
We also expect our suppliers and subcontractors to
- Promote an environment of dignity, respect and opportunity;
- Provide safe and healthy working conditions;
- Offer fair compensation through wages and other benefits;
- Hire workers of legal age, who accept employment on a voluntary
- Maintain reasonable work hours.
Finally, we require that all suppliers be particularly vigilant about
compliance with country of origin and other requirements of the U.S.
Customs Service and related agencies, and with all similar requirements
of other applicable jurisdictions.
We take our responsibilities as a corporate citizen very seriously,
and we act decisively to ensure that our policies and standards are
understood and adhered to by all those with whom we do business.
We insist that all associates who come into contact with our
suppliers be sensitive to our concerns, and are therefore required as a
matter of job description to report anything they observe or discover
that indicates our standards are not being met. We encourage compliance
with our standards through the maintenance of an ongoing list of
suppliers who consistently meet our expectations. This list of
"preferred suppliers" is regularly updated and supplied to all of our
businesses when they are seeking to source new contracts.
Each of us is expected to be an active proponent of our principles,
as each of us must prove what we stand for by our actions. Every
associate with a responsibility for vendor relationships is asked to
acknowledge, in writing, that he or she understands our standards and
principles, and can then act as an active participant in their
In addition to our internal education procedures, we share our
policies with every direct vendor and supplier and expect them to share
the policy with their subcontractors. Each of them is required to
acknowledge our policies and standards. While we recognize that local
customs and values profoundly influence individual judgments in many
areas covered by these standards, we also support the work of inter
national agencies and organizations that seek to develop internationally
recognized standards for labor practices and business conduct.
We will hold our vendors responsible for the work they do for us, or
subcontract on our behalf. Given the size of our business, we recognize
that it's difficult to live up to our expectations. In any year we
purchase billions of dollars' worth of apparel and other products for
our stores from hundreds of suppliers in the U.S. and around the world.
We make it clear to everyone with whom we work that we expect them to
comply with all applicable laws and regulations, as well as our broader
business standards. But some violations are always a possibility.
The size of the task will not deter us from working to enforce our
principles. That's why we require our suppliers to keep detailed and
accurate records, and to permit our quality assurance and internal audit
teams to make both regular and unannounced on-site inspections of their
facilities. These teams regularly review compliance with our policy as
part of their factory evaluation and qualifications inspections, and our
suppliers are expected to replicate these efforts throughout their
supply base. Sup pliers periodically are required to certify their
compliance, and the compliance of their subcontractors, with this
policy. And every supplier with which we do business must agree to our
requirements as a legal part of every job order or contract signed with
A violation of the letter or spirit of our policies constitutes a
breach of our relation ship, which may result in
- * Cancellation of orders;
- * Termination of our business relationship;
- * Notification of responsible authorities.