Can Private Brand Save A&P

Montvale, New Jersey-based grocer A&P said its second-quarter fiscal 2010 sales were $1.9 billion versus $2.1 billion in last fiscal year’s second quarter. Comp store sales, meanwhile, decreased 6.6%. Although Sam Martin, president and CEO, called the results “disappointing,” he said the new management team and a comprehensive turnaround plan in place, and has begun to implement that plan.

In addition to other plans call for an increased focus on Private Brand development. A&P said it would be offering customers “additional variety and value by enhancing and expanding its private label brands, including America’s Choice, Food Basics and The Food Emporium Trading Company.”

A&P has received much acclaim over the last few years for its innovative brand development and design, with brands designed by the NYC based strategic branding firm United leading the way. It will be interesting to see if A&P can leverage VIA ROMA, Greenway and Hartford Reserve while continuing to develop its Private Brand portfolio. Private Brand may not be enough to save the once great retailer but perhaps they can leverage it to their advantage and create a dramatic story that leads to a dramatic sale. Should we now call the strategy a “Duane Reade”?

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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.