Japanese Private Brand Pays “The Price”

Ito-Yokado

This is a fascinating story from the Japanese newspaper The Mainichi Daily News, the Asian markets and the growth of Private Brand are a interesting story to follow. Notice the 7-Eleven sign in the background,  Ito-Yokado is part of retail group Seven & I Holdings Co.

the priceIto-Yokado to launch new discount product range ‘The Price’ Retail giant Ito-Yokado, part of retail group Seven & I Holdings Co., will launch its own line of products at their discount store chain The Price, it was announced on Thursday.

Product costs for the new private brand, also named “The Price,” are reduced through the use of irregularly shaped and sized ingredients and materials, as well as simplified packaging. Prices will be 10 to 20 percent lower than products in “Seven Premium,” another private brand sold by businesses under the Seven & I Holdings group.

The range will include food and daily consumer goods priced around 30 to 50 percent lower than brand-name products. For example, there is toasted seaweed made of seaweed with holes at 177 yen for a 10-sheet pack, soy sauce-flavored rice crackers with broken pieces at 197 yen for a 15-piece pack, and a three-serving package of Chinese noodles without the usual pouches of seasonings for 167 yen. Ito-Yokado is promoting the brand as a special highlight of the discount chain, and will not be selling the products at regular Ito-Yokado outlets.

Ito-Yokado will be debuting the brand next Monday, and hopes to develop some 350 products within the current fiscal year to reach about 5 billion yen in sales.

There are currently only eight The Price outlets, all located in the Kanto area, with plans to boost the number to 20 before the end of fiscal 2009.

“There has been an increasing push for competitive prices among consumers in this lagging economy, and there will be a continued demand for low-priced private brands,” explained Ito-Yokado President Atsushi Kamei.

Others in the retail industry have also stepped up price reduction measures in response to consumers’ increasingly thrifty shopping habits, including the April debut of retailer Aeon’s “Best Price by Topvalu,” a more competitively priced product line than their leading private brand, “Topvalu.”



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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.