George at Asda remains committed to Bangladesh
The UK-based George at Asda clothing brand remains committed to sourcing in Bangladesh, even though at least 112 workers were killed in a factory fire last year while illegally subcontracted to produce clothing for parent company Wal-Mart.
Speaking to just-style today (21 February), Andrew Moore, chief merchandising officer for general merchandise at Asda and George, said the retailer plans to stay in Bangladesh, partly because it's the "right thing to do", but also because it has invested heavily in developing lean manufacturing in the country.
He said the programme gives the company a "real head start in working with factory owners out there, coaching them, educating them, bringing the practices that exist in other countries and taking them to Bangladesh".
Moore said parent company Wal-Mart has issued new supplier standards and that George would be working within those rules, but that its standards were already "in-line" with them.
He described how the company is working to "dial up" direct sourcing following its acquisition of the sourcing arm of Turkish supplier GAAT last year. He said the group has nearly completed its integration into the business.
He added that the key to making the acquisition work is not leaving it as a standalone sourcing business, but to fully integrate it.
The company now has 250 people based around the world to help it source directly and 70 designers producing for the brand, which are helping to "keep costs down".
"When you think about what buying and development used to be, it used to be a three legged stool - buying, merchandising, quality and design. Now it's buying, merchandising, quality and design, and souring.
"It's that sourcing process - working with the buyers, working with the merchandisers through the decision process to ensure we've got much more confidence around delivery and quality," he told just-style.
The company also sees availability, particularly in basics, as key to its success. As part of this, it has invested almost GBP20m in JDA's assortment and merchandise planning tool AMS, which it is in the process of integrating into its systems.
Additionally, the company revealed plans to have the George brand present in 24 markets by the end of September, driven primarily through online expansion.
The brand, currently available in the UK, Middle East, Japan, Chile, Canada and the Channel Islands, will expand online delivery across continental Europe to 24 countries by the end of the third quarter.
Moore said the group is also in talks to take the line to Wal-Mart's South African banner Massmart, both distributing and manufacturing in the country.
Asda today recorded a full-year like-for-like sales increase of 1%, rising 0.1% over the quarter ended 5 January. Moore said the George brand had a "record year" for sales, profit and market share.
In 2008, the US-based multinational company Wal-Mart Stores acquired the Chilean hypermarket, supermarket and retail company D&S, which already owned more than 250 stores across the country. Every yea...
Wal-Mart de México SAB de CV is the leading and most influential chained grocery retailer in Mexico. The company’s strategy is based on offering a wide range of products at affordable prices. Conseque...
This report provides an update of business news in the following categories: acquisitions, divestments and mergers; company rebranding; company restructuring; corporate social responsibility (CSR); fi...
Asda saw its like-for-like sales growth slow in the second quarter in what the UK retailer said was a "tough" market....
- Improved supplier capabilities benefit Next
- India's labour law reforms edge a step closer
- THE FLANARANT: Understand win-win or lose out
- China and Vietnam lead US apparel imports in July
- Retailers voice concerns on Scottish independence
- H&M goes green with Conscious Denim
- Under Armour "resonating strongly" with consumers
- TPP talks "make progress" but issues remain
- Adidas defends position despite investor unrest
- Ultrasonic execs disappear along with company cash
- Apparel Market in China to 2018 - Market Size, Trends, and Forecasts
- Wool in the 21st Century: new prospects for a familiar fibre
- Global market review of denim and jeanswear – forecasts to 2020
- Global Database of the Top 1000 Apparel Producers - Company Names, Financial Performance, Key Executives, and Contact Details
- Global Database of the Top 1000 Cut and Sew Apparel Producers - Company Names, Financial Performance, Key Executives, and Contact Details