Retro Cool or Just Bad Brand Strategy?


Loblaws the Private Brand  groundbreaking grocer from  Canada is re-launching more than 2,600 products under its No Name private brand using retro graphics that are reminiscent of the original 1978 packaging. The bright yellow and black labels allow shoppers to “quickly and easily identify the most cost-effective product selection on the shelf” and signal a “a move back to the future where simplicity rules,” according to Loblaws.

In addition to that Loblaws is supporting the brand with TV, print and in store promotions that are remarkably similar to the Food Lion promotion I wrote about several weeks ago. Check out the TV commercial.

Before there entry into Canada Walmart had worked extensively with Loblaw to build both the Great Value and Sam’s Choice lines. The retro take on the brand is a particularly interesting approach given the impending relaunch of Great Value.

According to a Loblaw press release about 300 products are currently available in the re-launched packaging with the entire line expected to be converted by year-end. Loblaw said No Name offers a savings of more than 20 percent vs. comparable national brands.

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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.