By Dhanya Skariachan
NEW YORK, Sept 12 Lands' End has not authorized
any production in North Korea and is investigating if any
products of the Sears Holdings Corp unit were made
without its knowledge in the country, its chief executive told
Reuters on Thursday.
U.S. companies are barred from trading with North Korea.
Violations, including the outsourcing of any element of clothing
production to the country, are punishable by up to a $1 million
fine or 20 years in prison.
"We will take action if warranted, depending on what the
investigation finds," Lands' End CEO and President Edgar Huber
His response came after NK News reported on Thursday that at
least five dress shirts branded with Lands' End labels - but
displaying "Made in China" tags - were seen on a rack at North
Korea's Sonbong Textile Factory in June.
Lands' End said "it is too early to say" whether it is a
case of counterfeiting or a supplier outsourcing manufacturing
into another country, spokeswoman Michele Casper said.
Huber said it has reached out to all its suppliers and its
head of sourcing was in Hong Kong to further investigate the
issue. China is a key sourcing base for the company.
"We are completely committed to global compliance," Huber
said, adding that early reports from suppliers did not show any
The report comes at a time when retailers on both sides of
the Atlantic are being urged to boost their checks of their
supply chains after recent incidents in manufacturing hubs like
Bangladesh pointed to unsafe working conditions.