Lunch with the PLMA

Brian Sharoff
Brian Sharoff

Last week I had the opportunity to spend a long weekend in New York City with my wife, eat some great food and play tourist. In the midst of that I had the opportunity to have lunch with Brian Sharoff, the president of the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) and his colleague Dane Twining, the Director of Public Relations. They were intrigued by the blog, the LinkedIn group, Twitter following and the entire social media experiment. They invited me to lunch to learn more about my interest in Private Brand and get to know each other. It was a classic New York lunch, a steak and seafood house directly across from the PLMA offices. As soon as we walked in Brian was greeted as a regular and we were immediately ushered to our table.

Dane Twining
Dane Twining

It was a fascinating conversation with topics ranging from kids and health to the evolution of Private Brand over the last twenty years. Over the next week I will publish several posts about store walks that I took in NYC as well as some of the insights from Brian and Dane. Look for posts on the New York pharmacy giant Duane Reade, the quintessential grocer of the city D’Agostinos and some thoughts on European clothiers H&M and the newly opened TOPSHOPS.

If you are not familiar with the PLMA take a moment and check out their website and plan to attend the 2009 Private Label Trade Show, November 15th-17th.

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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.