White Cloud on the Auction Block. Walmart?

As Walmart continues to evolve its Private Brand portfolio, this article from AdAge presents an interesting twist for their long-term strategy. It also begs the question, Should retailers invest heavily in Private Brands whose marks are licensed or owned by another party? Walmart may be faced with a brand they cannot control and multiple unrelated parties who have different ideas for building the brand.

Could Sale of White Cloud Name Lead to Brand’s Resurgence?
Former Partner Walmart Retains Control of U.S. Trademark Baby-Care Category

White CloudThe company that took control of the White Cloud brand years after Procter & Gamble Co. discontinued it and helped turn it into a Walmart private label is putting the rights to the brand name up for sale — albeit for uses outside paper products in the U.S.

White Cloud Marketing, originally known as Paper Partners, acquired the White Cloud trademark in 1996 and relaunched it nationally with Walmart in 1999, six years after P&G discontinued what was then a toilet-paper brand in a 1993 efficiency move.

The brand logged $600 million in sales last year, according to Carl Marks Advisory Group, New York, the investment bank handling the brand sale.

That, however, was before Walmart removed White Cloud from its diaper shelves in March, though the brand remains for sale there in training pants, baby wipes and toilet paper. The brand got a mere $1 million in measured-media support in 2007 and 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Read the entire article.

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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.