Retailers should not adopt a “one size fits all” approach when deciding how and where to source globally, according to Christine Cross, who sits on the board of Next and runs her eponymous consultancy firm.
At the World Retail Congress in Barcelona, Cross said that retailers should respond to shifting global sourcing patterns around the world to ensure cost and supply chain efficiency.
Li & Fung US president Rick Darling said that in the past year, and particularly the past six months, he has seen shifts in global sourcing around the world.
He pointed to a refocus back on China and a move towards the interior of the country, and highlighted the flight to quality over price. He said “there is no point in squeezing product price” in the current climate. Retailers are now looking for quality, time, safety and sustainability, he explained.
He added that supply was still outpacing demand and that average prices at Li & Fung across all countries are down between 3 and 6 per cent.
Inditex director of environment Antonio Alvarez added that by controlling your own sourcing strategy retailers can control their own agenda, particularly sustainability.
Woolworths Australia general manager global sourcing Ian McDonald warned that any changes in global sourcing strategies must be made with senior level support and also taking in to consideration the reaction from buying teams as the way they work fundamentally shifts.