Walmart unveils new global sourcing strategy

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. said Thursday it is reorganizing its global
sourcing structure to reduce costs, accelerate speed to market and
improve the quality of products.

The initiative is part of parent company Walmart’s new global
sourcing strategy, which includes creating global merchandising centers,
changing leadership and structure, and forming a strategic alliance
with global sourcing company Li & Fung.

The new structure aims to leverage the company’s global scale in
both general merchandise categories and global food sourcing.

“The newly-established Global Merchandising Centers represent the
largest and most important element of our new sourcing strategy,”
Walmart Vice Chairman Eduardo Castro-Wright said in a news release.
“These centers will create alignment between sourcing and merchandising
and drive efficiencies across various merchandise categories.”

Walmart’s overall global sourcing strategy focuses on increasing
direct sourcing for the company’s private brands.

Ed Kolodzieski, currently president and CEO of Walmart Japan
Holdings G.K. and Seiyu, has been promoted to lead Walmart’s global
sourcing as executive vice president, reporting to Castro-Wright.

Li & Fung, which is forming a new company to manage the Walmart
account, is expected to build capacity that would enable it to act as a
buying agent for goods valued around $2 billion within the first year.

“In sum, we are redefining how we source products that are imported
into Walmart retail markets around the globe,” Castro-Wright said. “By
realigning our resources, leveraging our scale, and restructuring our
relationship with suppliers, we will enable our businesses around the
world to offer even more competitive pricing on merchandise and to
provide our customers a clear and compelling assortment of better
quality products at lower prices.”