Private Brand: The Ultimate Weapon

While there’s no denying that it’s hard to compete with the worlds largest retailer Bentonville based Walmart, a new report from Kantar Retail says that retailers with personality, Private Brand choices and consistent attention to low prices may actually be more appealing.

Its study, “Challenging the Behemoth,” compared Walmart to Market Basket. Market Basket is a chain of 65 supermarkets in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. It has stores from central New Hampshire to Bristol County, Massachusetts with headquarters in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. Supermarket News ranked DeMoulas/Market Basket No. 43 in the 2010 “Top 75 North American Food Retailers” based on 2009 fiscal year estimated sales of $3.0 billion.

Like Walmart, it’s made low prices the center of its positioning, using a stripped-down store layout and a “More for Your Dollar” tagline to appeal to shoppers. On the same day, Kantar execs visited both a Market Basket and a Walmart Supercenter in Epping, NH, comparing the two stores on four attributes: Basket analysis, merchandise assortment, endcap promotions, and store ambiance.

Walmart was the clear winner in many ways, notably on price, with a basket of identical branded items 9.5% less expensive than Market Basket’s. But Market Basket’s prices were also aggressive and competitive, particularly in food. And it performed better on Private Brands, which were 5.3% more expensive at Walmart.

Perhaps more surprising was that the smaller store also offered more variety, with more choices in both brands and Private Brands in two of three categories.

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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.