“Name brands are out, knock-offs are in”

Jim Cramer host of CNBC’s “Mad Money is always on the lookout for themes that operate independently of the economy and can propel stocks higher regardless of whether we are in recovery or recession.

Now, despite the economic recovery, Cramer thinks the habits of Americans have shifted during the great recession away from expensive national brands to Private Brands. He points to both Walmart and CVS as examples of this trend.

“Name brands are out, knock-offs are in,” Cramer said, “and you should invest accordingly going forward.”

In the past Private Brands would thrive during a recession, but people would stop purchasing them and switch back to national brands as the economy improved. Yet, for the first time, Cramer said, this simply not happening, not at all.

Conversion to Private Brand is now genuine secular growth stories thanks to the reluctance of the consumer to revert to the expensive product when the cheaper one seems every bit as good. The bottom line: “In fact,” Cramer said, “people are tired of being fooled by these expensive brands that are no better than the cheaper unbranded one.”

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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.