May 4, 2017

Leadership changes at Amazon Fashion

Amid buzz about Amazon’s foray into private label apparel, the online retail giant told MarketWatch on Thursday that president of Amazon Fashion Cathy Beaudoin has resigned from her post. Citing business momentum and the team’s strength, Beaudoin reportedly felt now was “the right time to pass the baton,” Amazon said to MarketWatch in a statement. "We thank Cathy for her tremendous contributions to Amazon Fashion and wish her all the best. An announcement regarding Cathy's successor will be coming soon," the company added. (MarketWatch)

May 12, 2017

Reuters: Aldi looking to topple Walmart as EDLP leader

Walmart may no longer be king of the EDLP hill, Reuters reported Thursday. An internal Aldi study found that the prices across the 1,600-store discount grocer are 21% lower than any rival, including Walmart. Aldi CEO Jason Hart plans to press that pricing advantage with a capital expenditureof $1.6 billion to expand and remodel 1,300 U.S. stores and open 400 new stores mainly in Florida, Texas and on both coasts by end of 2018, he told Reuters. According to the report, Aldi carries about 1,200 SKUs, 90% of which are private label. Comparitively, Walmart stocks as many as 40,000 SKUs, 30% of which are private label. (Reuters)

May 2, 2017

Report: Cherry Hill, N.J. location approved for Lidl opening in 2018

Local media outlet NJ Pen on Tuesday reported that a site was approved for German grocer Lidl in Cherry Hill, N.J. Lidl was cleared to build its first store at 400 Route 38 by a unanimous vote of the township planning board Monday night. Patrick Lyons, development manager for Lidl US, told NJ Pen that the grocery chain comprises 95% private-label products of its own design, which allows it to control costs and manage logistics. The Cherry Hill store would be supplied by a hub in Cecil County, Md., he said. The first Lidl store expected to come online in South Jersey is due to open in Vineland sometime next year, Lyons added. (NJ Pen)

April 10, 2017

Report: Store brand growth not tied to household income, necessarily

The Great Recession may have mitigated the impact rising household incomes have on consumption of a retailer's own brands, according to new research from the Chicago Booth Review, a publication of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. "Where past research has suggested that a 1% fall in real GDP per capita yields a 1.22% annual jump in the private-label share of Americans’ shopping baskets, this study finds household income and wealth have a much smaller impact," the Chicago Booth Review reported. "Even so, the researchers note that private-label goods are rising as a portion of total consumer-goods expenditure, by a half a percent a year, in a trend that predates the Great Recession." (Chicago Booth Review)

April 7, 2017

Report: Del Monte to exit own brand business

Del Monte Pacific will be exiting the own brands production business in an effort to streamline operations, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported Friday. The company had just raised $200 million on the Philippine Stock Exchange and has plans to expand both its Latin American and Asia-Pacific businesses. "DMPL COO Cito Alejando said the priority would be to grow the branded consumer business in the U.S., which accounted for 80% of the group’s portfolio," the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. "The coming fiscal year, he said, would be all about increasing the branded businesses, including vegetables, fruits and tomato." (The Philippine Daily Inquirer)

April 4, 2017

Amazon’s stock gets a bump from private label

Several outlets, including ValueWalk, reported that Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali bumped up Amazon’s stock target price from $965 to $970, fueled by a “growing number of [brick-and-mortar] store closings.” Squali gave some of the credit to Amazon’s potential in the private label arena. “He found that most of the online retailer’s private labels are in the electronics vertical, although he sees great opportunities in apparel, which makes up $24 billion in gross sales. His checks suggest that more private label brands are coming from the company,” ValueWalk stated. (ValueWalk)


March 27, 2017

The eight private-label brands that may transform Amazon into a fashion powerhouse

Will Amazon be able to become a fashion powerhouse under its own brands? According to the Los Angeles Times, that’s the question the industry is facing right now as online shopping continues diverting traffic away from stores in a quickly evolving retail landscape. “The answer,” the article stated, “starts with the eight brands Amazon already is developing into its private-label stable. They open up a window on its in-house fashion ambitions and show a company looking to take advantage of its scale and traffic with basic looks that can build replenishment businesses.” The brands to keep your eyes open for are Lark & Ro, Ella Moon, Mae, Paris Sunday, Amazon Essentials, Buttoned Down, Goodthreads and Scout + Ro. (Los Angeles Times)

March 21, 2017

Report: Marine Harvest adding spice to store-brand pre-packaged fish

Marine Harvest is tailoring its chilled, pre-packaged offering to different regions of the U.S. by adding flavors to its store-brand products, Undercurrent News reported Monday. “To add flavors, either with sauces, spices, rubs or marinades, is the natural evolution from starting with a natural, fresh product," Ola Brattvoll, COO sales and marketing Marine Harvest, told Undercurrent News. "We are offering more variety and more options for consumers. As pre-pack grows more in the U.S., this is going to continue.” (Undercurrent News)

March 16, 2017

Bloomberg: Kirkland Signature spirits proves uplifting to Costco

Own-brand spirits are proving to be a significant boon to Costco's bottom line, Bloomberg reported Thursday. "Kirkland Signature has been key to its success. The retailer began selling wine under the brand in 2003, followed by spirits in 2007. It also has a line of craft beers," Bloomberg reported. And where many store brands emphasize value, Kirkland Signature spirits emphasize quality, the report noted. “Private label continues to grow as a dominant strategy in retail — especially when it migrates from being a ‘label’ to more of a ‘brand,’ which Kirkland has done,” David Bassuk, managing director at consulting firm AlixPartners, told Bloomberg. “Now it’s a well-known name and gives the consumer a perception of value and a good deal.” (Bloomberg)

March 15, 2017

S4RB offers insights into growing private brand sales

To see their private brands succeed, retailers need to respond quickly to ever-evolving consumer demand, said Kelly Cookson, marketing manager at S4RB, to Kam City. “And like it or not, retailers are absolutely dependent on their suppliers when it comes to bringing these vital private brand products to market. The days of the ‘white label’ scenario — where products are simply re-branded with the retailer’s name — are now far behind us. Today, it’s all about creating compelling products that are exclusive to just one chain. And this requires close collaboration with suppliers so that best practice can be shared and followed by all concerned, leading to faster product development, leaner processes, controlled costs and — in the end — really satisfied customers.” (Kam City)

March 14, 2017

Amazon’s private-label apparel might draw even more millennial shoppers

When it comes to shopping for clothes, millennials tend to flock to Amazon. “Amazon’s share of millennial apparel dollars could inflate even further in the next few years as the online retail giant continues its private-label push,” speculated Pymnts. “It is likely Amazon will continue to build out its private-label offerings as a way to fill in gaps in offerings from suppliers (turned competitors) and rake in the revenue from the additional sales.” (Pymnts)


March 11, 2017

How wineries can leverage private-label options to expand distribution

“Wineries seeking to grow their businesses should focus on relationships with their retailers. Private label or offering store brands is one great way to build relationships,” said Siddarth Patel, owner of the Beverage Trade Network, to Wine Industry Advisor. Patel explained that retailers need SKUs to fill their gaps, and these offer incredible opportunities for wineries looking to expand. Patel offered his insights ahead of BTN’s biggest private-label and bulk wine show in the U.S., a two-day event that will explore different strategies on leveraging the private-label option. The International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show will be held July 26-27, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Wine Industry Advisor)


March 9, 2017

Is Amazon making moves to roll out a private-label plus-size brand?

It’s been hush-hush, but for the past year, Amazon has been delving more into private-label apparel territory. The latest buzz comes via Racked, which is speculating whether the online giant might be looking to start a dedicated plus-size brand or simply adding a plus-size offering in its seven existing brands. “It makes sense that Amazon is getting more aggressive when it comes to plus-size. Plus-size apparel is a $20 billion market, and while it is rich with shoppers — 65% of American women are a size 14 and up — it is also a category that brands and investors alike often overlook.” (Racked)

March 7, 2017

Report: High demand expected for Costco's USGA-approved golf ball

Costco is returning a much-coveted own-brand golf ball, the Costco Kirland Signature Performance One, to the shelves following approval by the U.S. Golf Association as of March 1, according to a report published by MyGolfSpy. The new ball replaces a previous Kirkland Performance ball that absolutely shook up the golf  ball industry, Forbes reported Friday. Not only did those balls retail for just $15 per dozen, the balls performed well on the course, too. And when word got out to golf enthusiasts, Costco allegedly sold out. "With the excitement that this ball generated in its previous incarnation, it's almost a given that the demand will be similar when it does return," Forbes suggested. (Forbes)

March 5, 2017

Should Amazon bolster its private label apparel business by buying Macy’s?

What if Amazon were to buy Macy’s? InvestorPlace considered the question now that it looks as if Hudson’s Bay might be getting ready to buy the large apparel seller. Citing media speculation on the odds of Amazon getting into a bidding war with the Canadian retailer, InvestorPlace offered some points to chew on. “Amazon has been slowly entering the apparel business since debuting its own private-label brands in early 2016 with 1,800 products available for sale under names such as Scout and Ro, Franklin and Freeman and Society New York.” Buying Macy’s would not only address some of the online retailer’s major consumer pain points, but also give Amazon greater credibility in curation and fashion authority, Cowen & Co. analyst Oliver Chen was quoted as saying. (InvestorPlace)

March 5, 2017

Amazon’s private label Elements quietly rolls out vitamin and supplements line

Amazon has quietly entered the supplement space, adding new product late last month to its existent, and rather stagnant, private label, Amazon Elements. The label originally launched in 2014 with Amazon’s own brand of baby wipes and diapers, but the online behemoth pulled the diapers from the label a little more than two years ago. Now, “the brand has expanded to include a small selection of vitamins and supplements, according to TechCrunch. Amazon also seems to be using the quiet launch to drive Prime membership. None of the new products are available to all Amazon shoppers, reported TechCrunch, “you have to be a Prime member to order them. But even more oddly, you have to ‘request an invitation’ to buy the products.” (TechCrunch)