I try to walk our local Walmart regularly but it had been a few weeks since I was able to walk the store and spend some time in the aisles. I am constantly surprised by the evolving space that is Walmart and by the hints of a Private Brand portfolio strategy. The new Great Value redesign is flowing in nicely and despite what appears to be some design architecture inconsistencies it looks pretty good and it is definitely doing its job, the new white design jumps out of the long aisles and has begun to create something bigger than itself, a recognizable, reassuring modern brand.
Then it hit me many of the products that had been formerly branded as the Walmart premium brand Sam’s Choice where disappearing and I had to rewalk the aisles. The juices the crackers and the premium salsa, were there side-by-side, the same product was rebranded as Great Value. The Sam’s Choice Free Trade coffee and gourmet cookies were still there but clearly something was going on. What are they doing? Then I discovered Great Value on cleaning products and detergents, this is big, bigger than I had imagined.
Here are my Walmart Private Brand portfolio questions?
- Is Sam’s Choice being eliminated? It still exists in the deli on the take and bake pizzas.
- Is Sam’s Choice becoming the fresh/meal solutions brand?
- Is Great Value moving towards the Kirkland/Costco model of one expansive brand?
- How far can Great Value stretch?
- Will Walmart introduce a new premium brand?
- With these dramatic shifts can a redesign of Equate be far behind
- Is there an overarching Private Brand Portfolio strategy at work?
What do you think?