A Private Brand Direct Sourcing Revolution at Walmart.

This article from the Financial Times outlines the supply chain initiatives that when implemented should dramatically increase margin and profits at Walmart. Direct sourcing will be one of the keys to building strong Private Brands at Walmart.

Walmart aims to cut supply chain cost

Walmart is launching a drive this year to cut billions of dollars of costs from its supply chain by combining its store purchasing across national frontiers in a new stage in the globalisation of its business.

The effort is part of plans by the world’s largest retailer to increase the proportion of goods that it buys directly from manufacturers, rather than through third-party procurement companies or suppliers.

Eduardo Castro-Wright, the head of Walmart’s US stores, has said that the retailer sees the opportunity to consolidate global sourcing as “a major source of leverage for the company in years to come”.

With annual sales of more than $400bn, Walmart is famously tough in negotiating with its suppliers, exploiting the scale of its buying to gain discounts. It spends about $100bn on purchasing private label products such as its Faded Glory and George brand clothing, or its Great Value food and home products. But it acquires less than a fifth of these goods directly from the manufacturers, and has generally made its purchases on a country-by-country basis.

Read the entire story.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.