Russia’s X5 Retail Group is opening its first trade representative office abroad in Hong Kong, with the aim of boosting direct imports.
The retailer says that the new Hong Kong office will offer a gateway to South-East Asia, and aims to build up the share of direct imports in a number of product categories, primarily fruit, vegetables, seafood and non-food goods.
X5 is also considering establishing similar trade offices in Central Asia and South America.
“Ramping up direct imports of goods that are not produced in Russia and seasonal products has been among X5's top priorities since 2016. In 2017, the number of countries where X5 has direct relationships with suppliers reached 27,” the company said in a statement.
“Direct imports already account for almost 50% of supplied fruit and berries. In the 18 months after the launch of the direct import programme, the total number of direct suppliers reached 200,” it added.
In 2017-2018, the company intends to establish direct imports from six more countries: Bosnia, Mexico, Namibia, Madagascar, New Zealand and Iran.
It says that it is open to cooperation with producers from other countries looking to tap into the Russian market.
Last month the retailer posted a 24.9% increase in sales for the third quarter of the year, with sales tolling RUB 317,131 million. It opened 820 new stores during the period, including its 11,000th store.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Kevin Duggan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.