Blog: Leonie BarrieTop marks for Tesco

Leonie Barrie | 27 October 2006

Good to hear that Sri Lanka’s escalating civil conflict hasn’t deterred Tesco from ramping up its plans to buy more apparel from the country. Top executives from the UK-based retailer say they intend to buy up to 40% more clothing from the island next year, focusing on its up-market lines where Sri Lankan expertise can add value.

Even though Tesco’s confidence is undaunted – helped of course by duty-free tax breaks to Europe, lead times among the best in Asia, and first-class service – the underlying message is that it’s as important as ever to spread your sourcing risks. Tesco, for example, splits production between five main countries and certainly doesn’t believe in putting all its eggs in one basket. Just look at those firms who flocked to China and now regret it because quotas have been re-imposed on specific categories of clothing.

And what about other recent incidences of civil unrest (Thailand) and strikes (Bangladesh). Both are huge garment-producing countries, yet on recent visits myself and members of the just-style team have seen evidence of investment, optimism and, crucially, continuing visits by overseas buyers. Those very same buyers would be missing out on increasingly good deals if they let the threat of unrest put them off.

UK: Tesco to increase buying from Sri Lanka


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