Kingfisher set to expand global sourcing network

B&Q owner Kingfisher will open a network of global sourcing offices by 2006.

The initiative is part of a supply chain management strategy that will also significantly reduce supplier numbers.

Kingfisher group commercial director George Adams told the Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference in New York that the network of offices would increase from four to six next year.

'We are building on the network of offices already in place. We'll have two more next year and will establish a worldwide network by 2006.'

Kingfisher has sourcing bases at Jaipur in India, Shenzhen and Shanghai in China and in Hong Kong - where the group's Eastern sourcing arm - Kingfisher Asia - is based.

Adams said Kingfisher was also striving to work with a smaller number of suppliers that are the most reliable in delivery, quality and price.

The retailer works with more than 8,000 suppliers, but only 200, or 2.5 per cent, provide 58 per cent of products. The group plans to reduce the supplier network to 1,000 companies providing 80 per cent of products.

He said: 'We are building up a cross-group rating of suppliers. We award our business to those that advantage us by having great product at great prices.'

Meanwhile, B&Q will open a 225,000 sq ft (20,900 sq m) store in Beijing later this year, its biggest in the world.