Dig a Little Deeper at Walgreens

As promised I took another trip to Walgreens, actually several trips and for such a small footprint they have an amazing number of Private Brands and it appears that they are in a transitional time for a number of those Private Brands. The interesting exception her is the Cafe W brand on muffins and snacks, it is obviously new with the W matching the core brand, but it is almost playing to a better level of convenience store snack

The banner brand is always easy to distinguish, so the Walgreen’s brand is obviously their Private Brand, but past that it becomes deciphering distribution clauses and asking questions. Does Walgreens own Riviera Brands? Is anything with a Deerfield addressed distribution clause a Private Brand?

The Walgreens brand is obviously in a state of transition to a new design featuring the stylized W in a circle. I like the new design it is clean and modern with a slight retro feel.

It also appears that there is potentially a shift in strategy moving edible products from the Walgreens brand to Deerfield Farms. This will have the benefit of tightening the Walgreens brand positioning and focusing its heritage as a drugstore and healthcare brand.

Then there are the beauty brands, Studio 35, and what should be a Private Brand whether it is or not Men’s Zone, Walgreens also plays here.

And finally the general merchandise brands: Home Solutions, Audio Solutions, Xcel Detergent, Corner Office, Tuf & Kitchen Gourmet. It looks like there is some opportunity for portfolio optimization here; there seems to be a lot of brands for a relatively small number of products.

This is by no means a complete analysis, its simply my observations after a couple of visits, I suspect a complete portfolio review would reveal even more brands and potentially more Private Brand potential.  I didn’t linger a long time in the beauty section but it would seem like there is significant potential to build customer loyalty with Private Brands.



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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.