In an interesting revelation on the future of Private Brand strategy at Walmart, William S. Simon, executive vice president and chief marketing officer is quoted in Supermarket News saying:
“But there are no plans to replace shelf space [for national brands] with space for Great Value products.”
If this is true and shelf space is a rough gauge of the importance a product or a brand has to a retailer the Great Value redesign may turn out to be little more than a redesign. The first products have begun to trickle into the stores and I will post my first post on the new Great Value pizza and the little that can be gleaned on the corresponding strategy from the single product – 12 flavors, I could find in store. Check it out on Monday and you will discover more questions than answers and a Private Brand portfolio that is obviously in significant transition.
The coming months will reveal the impact of Mr. Simons statement not only on shelf space but on ad dollars, customer loyalty and potentially increased or decreased share.
April 3, 2009 6:00 AM, By ELLIOT ZWIEBACH
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Efforts by Wal-Mart Stores to relaunch its Great Value corporate line do not mean national brands will get less shelf space, William S. Simon, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Wal-Mart U.S., said here this week.
“We are a house of brands,” he told investors here during a field trip sponsored by Morgan Stanley, New York. “We’ve always been a house of brands – it used to say ‘brands for less’ on the side of the building – and we believe selling national-branded product is a very important driver that communicates value to our customer.
“We are relaunching Great Value because the opportunity to update the packaging and the product specs are there for us, and it’s also a way for us to fill in holes and gaps where we may not have a national brand or we may not have a national brand where we believe, for whatever reason, we can get the best price in the market. It’s an important initiative for us, but it will by no means overshadow or replace any national brands. Our customers prefer national brands.”
Once the updated Great Value lines begin appearing at Wal-Mart stores, their presence will be more pronounced “because the packaging is different,” Simon said. “But there are no plans to replace shelf space [for national brands] with space for Great Value products.”