Britain's Boohoo targets increased sourcing from near-shore markets

LONDON, May 4 (Reuters) - British online fashion retailer Boohoo is targeting increased sourcing from the near-shore markets of the United Kingdom, Europe and northern Africa to reduce supply lead times, its boss said on Wednesday.

“We’ve been previously at about 40% near-shore markets ... and at the minute we’re building that up to 60%,” CEO John Lyttle told Reuters after the group published full year results.

The move will reduce Boohoo’s exposure to elevated inbound air and sea freight costs from Asia. Supplies from Europe can be trucked.

“Our Asia sourcing is still very fast in comparison to most retailers,” said Lyttle.

“It’s really just that availability of aircraft and the cost of air freight and sea freight.”

The CEO said Boohoo suffered during the 2021 peak season as delays getting supplies to Asian ports and airports and onto ships and planes was adding weeks to lead times.

Reporting by James Davey; editing by William James