The Private Brand Superstars.

In this months issue industry trade magazine Private Label Buyer recognizes the best and the brightest Private Brand professionals in its annual Retail Executives of the Year Awards. The list includes representatives from Save-A-Lot, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, Wegmans, Meijer, 7-Eleven, Sobeys and Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P).

The Hands that Built the Brands

Over the last couple years in the retail industry, private label has been the belle of the ball. Playing the private label game no longer is just about competing with the national brands — nowadays, retailers are coming up with new and innovative products to set themselves apart from other retailers.

To recognize the retail executives creating the best-in-class store brand programs out there, PL Buyer holds its annual Retail Executives of the Year Awards. Nominated by the private label supplier community, the winners are well-known and well-respected retail executives who share a deep dedication to building unique private label programs that cater to their customers’ needs.

Please join us in congratulating this year’s winners (listed alphabetically by last name):

  • David Bloomquist, grocery procurement manager at St. Louis-based Save-A-Lot
  • John Burry, commercial executive at El Segundo, Calif.-based Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market
  • Mike DeCory, vice president of private label, Wegmans, Rochester, N.Y.
  • Ralph Fischer, group vice president, food merchandising, Meijer, Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Tom Gerrity, senior product director for private label/store brands at 7-Eleven Inc., Dallas
  • Ken Keelor, vice president, private label procurement, Stellarton, Nova Scotia-based Sobeys
  • Doug Palmer, vice president of Own Brands at the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P), Montvale, N.J.
  • Laura Sturdevant, director of private brands at Walgreen Co., Deerfield, Ill.

PL Buyer invited the 2010 award winners to offer their thoughts about what currently is going on in the world of private label retailing. The Q&A that follows provides key insights into current triumphs and challenges, as well as areas to grow in the future.

Read the entire interview



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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.