01 Jul 2019

Challenges with Sourcing in the Retail Industry

An increasing number of retailers are integrating private brands into their overall merchandise. This can drive profits and give them an opportunity to offer unique products to their customers. Offering freshly sourced private label goods can keep retailers interesting and innovative. While sourcing private label goods can be a great opportunity, there are also some hurdles to overcome.

Overseas Suppliers

Retailers are constantly looking for the best sourcing opportunities to produce the right products at the right price. They are going overseas to countries like China, India, Vietnam, Ghana and more to find more affordable options than their home countries can offer. As raw material prices are fluctuating, retailers are finding it difficult to find ideal places to source materials for their company.

While technology based solutions can offer retailers support for sourcing for their business overseas, it is not the optimal approach. The need to touch and see products in person is a must that can be difficult when sourcing abroad. For the first time, Autumn Fair is bringing these overseas suppliers to the September show in the Sourcing sector to eliminate the need for retailers to travel abroad. 

private label

Price Negotiation

Some retailers take the approach of negotiating the lowest possible price from their suppliers when they’re sourcing, but this can come with problems. If the supplier does not have a healthy cashflow, their business is not sustainable in the long run. More successful relationships happen when the retailer and the supplier collaborate with each other. When retailers and suppliers collaborate, it opens up the lines of communication, giving both sides visibility.


One of the biggest risks for retailers in sourcing is in the transparency around who is involved in the different stages of the production process. Consumers are no longer turning a blind eye to unsafe working conditions and underpaid employees. The environment is another area that transparency needs to be clear. A lot of retailers want to know that the packaging and materials being used aren’t harmful to the environment. Digital tracking tools are helping retailers monitor these situations more clearly.


This year at Autumn Fair, the best sourcing businesses from around the world will be exhibiting, eliminating the need to travel overseas to garner working relationships. Get your free ticket here to meet them. You can even apply to be a hosted buyer with our Sourcing Buyer Programme here.

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