Asda was a true pioneer when it launched its local sourcing hubs in 2002. Over the past year it has expanded the strategy and now works with 380 local suppliers. The idea has been copied by other retailers and during 2005 Asda proved the scheme was scaleable and that big business can work with small business. Close collaboration, plus evidence of the initiative's impact, helped Asda beat the Midcounties Co-operative's biometric payment system and the National Federation of Retail Newsagents' Homelink home news delivery scheme.