Wilko (previously known as Wilkinson), a British high street retailer with more than 370 stores, was contacted by the ACI earlier this year. It followed the discovery of household power cable marked `ccc’ which does not appear to be a recognised manufacturer’s name (a requirement of the relevant cable standards BS 6004 or BS 6500 ‐ now in the BS EN 50525 series) on sale in stores and available to purchase online.
ACI has this year stepped up its campaign and is lobbying for legislative change and to affect policy to fight the growing problem of sub‐standard cable imports that could affect public health and safety.
Wilko, having liaised with its UK supplier, 360 Innovation, and Trading Standards, took the decision to withdraw the affected products totally from sale. It also chose to review its system of quality appraisal for branded electricals and going forward to treat them as own brand products, reviewing and maintaining a library of up‐to‐date test reports for such products.
The cable, reported as failing to meet the requirements of the British Standards to which it claimed to have been manufactured, were Corelectrics 360 Innovations cable and flex manufactured in China. None of the cable types carried any third party approval mark.
Peter Smeeth of the ACI said, ‘Whilst we applaud Wilko’s most recent actions we remain concerned about how long these processes can take to put into place, despite having sight of our independent test results. Where public safety is at risk then the ACI believes a retailer’s primary objective should be to ensure the offending items are removed from sale immediately and quarantined.
‘We are pleased that Trading Standards followed up on this matter quickly but this once again reinforces the reasons for our campaign and call for legislative change so that poor quality cable can be prevented from entering the country in the first place.’