The Warehouse Group from New Zealand Opens Sourcing Office in India
The first phrase that comes to mind when you enter the well planned and highly secure area of Aerocity, where New Zealand-based The Warehouse Group (TWG) has recently opened its Sourcing office is… ‘Wow! They are here in India and it is definitely good news for suppliers’.
So far, the Group has been mainly sourcing out of only China and Bangladesh, but they have now decided to expand operations in South East Asia through this office.
Team Perfect Sourcing got the chance to meet tania Benyon, ceo - GSS; nick tuck, EGM - Direct Sourcing and anika passi, country Manager -twhouse Sourcing pvt Ltd.
While interacting with our team, they clarified that even though a major chunk of business is done through China and Bangladesh, India remains a very important supply base and ranks number 3 in terms of sourcing.
“For many years we were sourcing mainly home textiles from India. We now plan to explore categories like baby wear, innerwear, value-added womenswear and complete Home Décor from regions like Delhi, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Tirupur and Panipat in India” said Nick Tuck.
Asked about the main objective of setting up an office in India, nick replied, “We have found that we have to be faster on our feet if we have to serve fast fashion. Also, we need to have direct physical presence, as, this way, we can give speedy service, widen our product profile and get products faster on our shelves in NZ.”
“We feel that India is resourceful in terms of skilled people and good factories that can offer both quality and innovation ,” reasoned Tania. The office in India will look after sourcing from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Myanmar.
As of January 2017, The Warehouse employed over 12,000 people in New Zealand. With headquarters in North Shore, Auckland NZ, the company’s store network comprises 92 The Warehouse stores, 69 Warehouse Stationery stores, 77 Noel Leeming stores, and 12 Torpedo7 stores, as well as online business.
It is also involved in the property, investment, and wholesale businesses. “We have a big share of the market and we have in-house Design team . In NZ, the market is quite strong for us in apparels and we have seen good growth,” informed Tania.
The product range available at stores includes kids, ladies and men’s wear along with focus on segments like sleep, sports, active, street and swimwear, and a complete range in home décor. “We are experiencing good growth in athleisure and street wear and right now, we are buying them from Bangladesh and China,” added Nick.
Tania also explained that the office in India was also part of its strategy because business
The price range of the product at any store starts from NZ$ 2-3 and goes up depending on the product. “As far as the quality is concerned, we usually give comprehensive tech specifications to all our vendors which specify details on what yarn, fabric and accessory has to be used Anika Passi, Country Manager, The Warehouse
from direct sourcing has helped the company in bringing innovative products to the market and attain superlative quality within the desired time frame.
At most of the stores of The Warehouse one can find products that have good design appeal and are affordable as well. “Every time a consumer buys from them, they should feel that they are getting value for money,” asserted Nick.
However, the group is very particular about sourcing products only from those companies who can produce in the most ethical manner. “We strongly believe in sustainability and compliance and have been following it to the core in all our programs and products,” added Tania. “SA 8000, Wrap Certification and similar norms are what we look for in a supplier before getting associated,” said Anika.
Sharing thoughts about consumers in general in NZ, they said the consumer buys apparel quite often and approximately the population of NZ passes through their stores in a time span of a month. “Our main advantage is that we have a lot of categories to offer: apparel, non-apparel goods, stationery and electronic items, so this creates space for all product categories to facilitate good growth and balance demand for all categories,” explained Tania.
The group has stores dispersed all over NZ and one can reach a Warehouse Store within half an hour of travel , anywhere in NZ. with annual sales of around US$2.98 billion, the company is eyeing india with a lot of expectations and plans to increase sourcing multifold. as of now the company has around 20 team members in its office in india and on ground in Bangladesh and plans to add more members to its team in the coming year. “This was a good time to enter India, in view of the favourable economic climate, good Governance Policies of the current government, ease of working as compared to earlier and moreover, we do our own audits and quality checks to ensure complete satisfaction,” said Anika. Talking about what the main criteria for the company are while selecting its vendor base, Tania said, “For us, the top priority is production is an ethical and compliant manner. We will not place any order with a factory that is not safe for people, as our consumers trust us and even if they are not aware, we are highly conscious about ethical production.”
On areas where improvement is required from suppliers end Nick said, “Infrastructure, productivity, efficiency and capacity is what India needs to work upon, as countries like China and Bangladesh have achieved them all.”
Ever since the company started operations in India, it has seen astounding growth of around 250 percent and expects to grow another 200 percent in the next 24 months.
She also revealed that various CSR programs have been implemented since 2004 and they have achieved substantial growth through the same.
The price range of the product at any store starts from NZ$ 2-3 and goes up depending on the product. “As far as the quality is concerned, we usually give comprehensive tech specifications to all our vendors which specify details on what yarn, fabric and accessory has to be used,” said Anika. “Yarn and fabric consolidation has helped us a lot in not only saving time and resources but also acquiring the required product within the stipulated time,” added Anika. She also disclosed that for the apparels sourced from the region mainly cotton fabric is used, however, they are also running special programs in other fabrics like denim/ viscose/polyester.
“We are associated many well- known companies in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and will expand our sourcing base to other countries in the region in due course of time. NZ is a very important market, with reverse season for vendors in our region and Warehouse as a brand is in the DNA of every Kiwi, so it is a win -win situation for both the sides,” said Anika as we wrapped up the interview with the Warehouse team.
For us, the top priority is production in an ethical and compliant manner. We will not place any order with a factory that is not safe for people, as our consumers trust us and even if they are not aware, we are highly conscious about ethical production.
“For many years we were sourcing mainly home textiles from India. We now plan to explore categories like babies’ wear, innerwear, valueadded women’s wear and complete home décor from regions like Delhi, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Tirupur and Panipat.
With annual sales of around US$2.98 billion, the company is eyeing India with a lot of expectations and plans to increase sourcing by 30 percent
(L-R) Nick Tuck, EGM - Direct Sourcing, Tania Benyon, CEO, GSS & Anika Passi, Country Manager, The Warehouse
Anika Passi, Country Manager, The Warehouse
Nick Tuck, EGM - Direct Sourcing
Tania Benyon, CEO, GSS