David Kipping, former Metro Group chief executive is to launch a new buying group: Carpet Force.
Kipping, who left Metro at the end of March, says he want the group to focus on selling as much as buying and will look to recruit retailers who are not members of existing buying groups.
'What retailers need is a selling and buying group not just a buying group. Membership will be completely free, with no commitments and members retain the ability to negotiate their own prices if they can do better than the group on individual products. The group will focus not just on buying better but on selling better, and with no risk of any downsides together with the option to leave at any time, it is hard to imagine why retailers would not want to at least try something that has real potential to dramatically improve profits,' he says.
Kipping says running costs will be kept 'lean and mean', for example not having board or regional meetings, and on top of the rebate offered to members, the group will negotiate an additional rebate to help offset the group's running costs leaving members with nothing to pay.
'In challenging economic conditions, with record numbers of retailers going to the wall, survival instincts should be leading retailers to ever more closely examine their business model and explore ways of improving profitability. These should be halcyon days for buying groups,' says Kipping.
The group should be in place next month and has set up a website, www.carpet-force.info, providing information.