Tesco and Carrefour agree supplier and sourcing alliance
Tesco and Carrefour have entered into a long-term, strategic alliance that the companies say will strengthen relationships with their suppliers.
The alliance will cover the strategic relationship with global suppliers, the joint purchasing of own brand products and goods not for resale. It will be governed by a three-year operational framework.
In a release, the companies said the alliance will enable both companies to improve the quality and choice of products available to their customers, at even lower prices thereby enhancing their competitiveness.
It will also allow both companies to strengthen their relationships with their suppliers and create significant opportunities for those suppliers. Each company will continue to work with supplier partners at a local and national level.
It is anticipated that the alliance will be formally agreed within the next two months.
Dave Lewis, Tesco Group Chief Executive, said: “I’m delighted to be entering into a strategic alliance with Carrefour. By working together and making the most of our collective product expertise and sourcing capability, we will be able to serve our customers even better, further improving choice, quality and value.”
Alexandre Bompard, Chairman and CEO of Carrefour Group, said: “This strategic alliance between Carrefour and Tesco is a major agreement as it combines the purchasing expertise of two world leaders, complementary in their geographies, with common strategies.
“This agreement is a great opportunity to develop our two brands at the service of our customers. This international alliance further strengthens Carrefour allowing it to reach a key milestone in the implementation of its strategy.”
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.