Moscow, 7 November 2017 – X5 Retail Group N.V. ("X5" or the "Company"), a leading Russian food retailer (LSE ticker: "FIVE"), announces the opening of its trade representative office in Hong Kong. A permanent presence in Hong Kong, the business getaway to South-Eastern Asia, will enable X5’s procurement team to improve purchasing terms and build up the share of direct imports in a number of product categories, primarily fruit, vegetables, seafood and non-food goods.
The Hong Kong office is X5’s first trade representative office abroad. Looking forward, X5 is also considering opportunities to establish similar trade offices in Central Asia and South America. Direct engagement with foreign suppliers, bypassing distributors, will enhance the quality of X5’s offering to customers, by enhancing its control over production standards and mitigating risks of supply shortages.
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. 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.
In 2017–2018, X5 intends to establish direct imports from another six countries – Bosnia, Mexico, Namibia, Madagascar, New Zealand and Iran. The Company is open to cooperation with producers from other countries looking to tap into the Russian market and is ready to offer favourable procurement terms.