In brief

In brief

  • The power of the sourcing function is untapped in most retail organizations.
  • Sourcing can help to address many of today’s retail challenges—supply chain disruption, increased consumer expectations and margin pressures.
  • Sourcing offers insights and capabilities that help retailers innovate products, make savvy investments, fuel customer value and maximize profits.
  • Retailers must give sourcing a seat at the C-suite table, while pivoting to sophisticated digital ways of working.

Sourcing is the new strategic asset for retailers

Within retail organizations, sourcing is viewed as a cost center, a vital but behind-the-scenes function that supports product and commercial teams. But this narrow view of sourcing is a liability for retailers today.

With disruption to global supply chains, heightened consumer and stakeholder expectations for sustainability, responsibility and transparency along the value chain, and increasing pressure on margins, it’s time for sourcing to take its seat at the C-suite table. Sourcing organizations have valuable insights and capabilities that can help retailers maximize profits, innovate products and categories, make savvy investments, and fuel customer value and competitiveness. Sourcing needs to be an integral and strategic part of the product journey from concept to customer.

Retail sourcing—the responsible reset | Accenture

View Transcript

Five pillars to unleash strategic retail sourcing

By focusing on these five fundamental pillars, retailers can begin the journey to resetting sourcing from a service provider to strategic partner.

Digitized sourcing

Adopt digitized sourcing, such as advanced analytics and automation, and build collaborative and tech-savvy teams to accelerate work that matters.

Profitable sustainability

Understand the environmental and cost impacts of sourcing decisions from the start to create fully certified sustainable products at the best cost.

Surety of supply

Create an adaptable supply footprint to ensure dependability, cost efficiency, and sustainability—delivering for customers and protecting the brand.

Category champions and partners

Do more with less by using advanced analytics and partners to win in new markets without investing time and money to build the capability in house.

Shared success through the ecosystem

Embrace shared success, through trust and transparency, to build agile and efficient supply ecosystems.

View All
Sourcing needs to be at the forefront of the retail business—more core to the value proposition and brand purpose than it has ever been before.

Now’s the time to reset retail sourcing

These five pillars above are a powerful starting point—retail sourcing organizations that operate as innovators, advocates and collaborators offer a clear competitive advantage in today’s complex retail markets. But getting from here to there requires profound changes. Retailers must reimagine sourcing as part of a cohesive and predictive supply network and marketing platform for their brands.

That’s why retail sourcing must come out of the shadows and take its seat at the table. Read the full report.


Akshay Madane

Managing Director – Accenture Leadership​​​

Tom White

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Retail

Dr. Peter Rinnebach

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Retail

Praveen Kishorepuria

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Zero-Based Transformation North America Lead


Retail’s responsible reset
Global Sourcing Reference 2022
Sizing up personalized fashion

Subscription Center
Visit our Subscription and Preference Center Visit our Subscription and Preference Center