Tesco and Ahold are already trialling procurement through the WorldWide Retail Exchange, its newly appointed chief executive Colin Dyer revealed this week. In his only interview with the UK trade press, he told The Grocer that buying and selling through the b2b e-marketplace was under way and that volumes would be building through the autumn. Dyer joined WWRE from Courtaulds where he was chief executive. Up to now project groups comprising staff from the retail members have driven its development, and Dyer is its first employee. He said: "Recruitment will be one of my first tasks, and numbers will be up towards the 100 mark within a year. "My challenge is to develop a preferred place for suppliers and retailers to interface." He listed advantages he claimed WWRE had compared with competitors: - It is an open exchange offering access to anyone - It does not have a technology company as one of its founders, so it is free to choose the best technology - Although it has been set up by retailers, it is an independent company and one of his tasks will be to safeguard its independence and integrity - It has been set up to provide a service to the industry and is not set for flotation - Low cost ­ fees will be per transaction and will be no more than 0.5%; as transaction volumes build it will enable fees to be reduced. In addition to simple buying and selling, it is planned to offer more sophisticated services such as forecasting for replenishment and performance indicators. WWRE's 32 retail members cover five continents and have combined sales of more than $530bn, but Dyer denied it was only for major multiples. He said: "Smaller retailers and suppliers will benefit from the products developed by the larger companies, and from an open exchange." {{NEWS }}