Coles Myer will join the largest Web-based marketplace in the retail industry, signing a memorandum of understanding to take equity in online B2B alliance GlobalNetXchange (GNX).
The retailer joins companies such as Carrefour, Sears, Kroger, Sainsbury and Metro in the enterprise, which could see retailers make annual purchases in excess of $350 billion using more than 70,000 suppliers, partners and distributors worldwide.
Coles Myer's participation and equity is subject to the completion of a legal agreement with the founding members of the exchange - Sears, Carrefore and Oracle. The exchange will allow the company to buy, sell, trade or auction goods and services over the Internet using standard Web browsers.
"GNX will provide Australian suppliers with easy and low-cost access to Coles Myer and many of the top retailers around the world," said Coles Myer CEO Dennis Eck. "Coles Myer is a significant buyer of goods and services in its own right. We expect greater efficiency, cost savings, better supply-chain forecasting and more efficient planning to flow from the arrangement."
Coles Myer e-commerce managing director Jon Wood said the alliance would provide support and services to the company's bricks-and-mortar businesses.
"GNX will provide us with continuing innovation in the types of tools and services required to reduce costs and increase the effectiveness of our supplier partnerships."
The exchange has already begun operating its online auction operations. Sears and Carrefour initially will share the majority interest in the GNX venture, which is based on software developer Oracle's e-business market platform. Oracle will hold a minority interest and will provide the software, implementation and support.