Jun 10, 2009

Is Private Label Taking on Water?

RetailWire reports that according to numbers from The Nielsen Company, sales of private label goods in food, drug and mass lost share year-over-year for the period ending April 18, 2009.

For retailers who were simply sourcing for higher gross margin, the picture is bleaker as they factor in all the costs of taking responsibility for a category, including innovation, quality and safety control, inventory, promotion, and logistics to name only a few. And what about the loss of vendor support funds? And national brands have been fighting fire with fire, " introducing value lines or lowering the cost of existing items to cut into the price advantage held by retailer brands".

Unless the retailer is as dedicated to private label as, say, a Trader Joe's, the strategy will often backfire. Of course, this begs the question: instead of getting revenge, wouldn't smart independent brand players use this opening as a chance to structure new relationships built on trust, system wide improvement, and win-win results?

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