Report: Retail Agendas Shifting Toward Strategic Private-label Programs

Burlington, MA — October 19, 2006 — Eqos Inc., a provider of global sourcing and supplier management solutions for the retail supply chain, has released a study it commissioned titled "The New Retail: Driving Growth through Product and Supplier Innovation," which was written by the analyst firm Industry Directions.

The study is available for download on the Eqos Web site.

Industry Directions' research revealed that leading retailers are moving beyond severe cost-cutting measures of the past decade to pursue more strategic private-label programs that deliver differentiated products with higher margins to the market.

"Retailers that are able to leverage the expertise of their buying and merchandising teams to seize the revenue-generating opportunities presented by private labeling, fast fashion and global sourcing, will be the leaders of tomorrow," explained William Brandel, principal, Industry Directions, and the report's author. "However, this requires commitment to new cross-organizational processes and technology-enabled collaboration that support the product lifecycle — from product concept to delivery to the importer — coupled with the ability to proactively manage a multitude of tasks, activities and relationships across the enterprise."

Other key recommendations to retailers looking to drive global growth objectives include:

  • Retailers must prepare to work collaboratively within their supplier ecosystem to increase customer value while addressing corporate social responsibility.
  • The combination of manual processes, Excel spreadsheets and disparate technologies that most retailers use today will not support the collaboration required to deliver differentiated products into global markets.
  • Retailers must gain visibility into emerging product concepts to streamline and coordinate efforts across their organization and throughout the supplier network.
  • Retailers, sourcing officers, agents, suppliers, and other stakeholders require the ability to share critical information in a timely and appropriate manner.
  • Sustainable competitive advantage will belong to retailers that are able to leverage the expertise of their buying and merchandising teams to build synergistic and strategic partnerships with selected suppliers.

"Our first-hand experience working with some of the world's largest retailers supports the findings of this report, which concludes that product and market innovation are key contributors to dramatically growing private label businesses," confirmed Jane Biddle, Eqos' chief marketing officer. "We are committed to helping retailers improve their performance by strengthening and expanding their global sourcing opportunities."

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