A new study to help businesses optimise their sourcing strategy, particularly within the apparel and general merchandise sectors, has been launched by Kurt Salmon Associates (KSA), the management consultancy specialising in retail and consumer goods. While cost continues to be a priority consideration, KSA contends that increasingly, retailers are becoming better at optimising their sourcing mix to enable them to fulfil their customers' demands for availability as well as value. Speed, responsiveness and innovation now play an important role in assessing the attractiveness of a particular manufacturing location and the chain of suppliers and intermediaries.