Global retail giants are out in force to find new suppliers

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 April, 2006, 12:00am

AMONG THE MANY buyers that flocked to AsiaWorld-Expo on the opening day of the Global Sources' China Sourcing Fairs were representatives from Ikea, the world's largest furniture retailer, Australian retail giant Coles Myer and Agentrics, an organisation representing 50 global retailers with US$1 trillion in annual sales.

Agentrics' member companies include brand names such as Carrefour, the second-largest retailer in the world, Sears, the third-largest retailer in the US, and Metro, Germany's largest retailer.

Agentrics executive chairman Christopher Sellers said the location and timing of this year's China Sourcing Fairs in Hong Kong offered definite advantages to Agentrics members.

'The number of new suppliers exhibiting is of great interest to buyers from our member companies who will participate. Besides visiting exhibitors, they will participate in vendor summits and private buyer meetings.'

Among the many value-added services for buyers this year, vendor summits allow buyers to introduce their companies and outline their sourcing requirements to exhibitors.

Private buyer meetings also create opportunities for pre-selected exhibitors to meet top representatives.

At these trade fairs, buyers are able to attend comprehensive conferences on product trends, logistics and marketing.

Buyers taking part in vendor summits and private buyer meetings include office supplies retailer Staples, US electronics chain RadioShack and El Cortes Ingles, the largest department store chain in Spain.

Buyer Richard Bao, general manager of Mueller Electric China, said the China Sourcing Fairs were well located and timed during the key April and October buying seasons.

'We can meet many new mainland suppliers in Hong Kong. Plus the venue is right beside the airport.'

Global Sources enables suppliers to sell to hard-to-reach buyers in 230 countries.

The company delivers information on 1.4 million products and more than 130,000 suppliers annually, and attends to more than 5.8 million inquiries from buyers online alone.

Hong Kong - as the location of the China Sourcing Fairs - is the ideal hub for buyers to grasp the latest market trends and user requirements.

Buyers should have no problems finding a wide range of specialised products from exhibitors.

Buyers can refresh their inventories to meet consumer demand for their latest products.