Women in Private Brand: Competitive Advantage!

Linda Severin: Vice President of Corporate Brands, Kroger

Women have unique insight into retailing and Private Brand, according to Kurt Goldschmidt in a new video report on the latest PLMALive! and companies may be missing out on some natural competitive advantages.

Currently, women make up just 14% of executive officer positions and only 16% of board seats in corporate America, but Goldschmidt reflects on past pioneers such as Julia Waldbaum, who helped turn her family’s small Brooklyn-based butter and egg store into a substantial supermarket chain in the New York area, and Jeannie Rabinovitz who laid the groundwork for the modern self-service supermarket that eventually became Stop & Shop. After she stepped down, it was her daughter, Carol Goldberg who led the way as president and chief operating officer.

Goldschmidt believes that the involvement of women in retailing and private label has continued with Mary Sammons, who served as the CEO of Rite-Aid from 2003 to 2010 and is now its board chairman. Goldschmidt points to Diane Dietz, who currently serves as Safeway’s Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, and Linda Severin who is the current Vice President of Corporate Brands at Kroger.

Moreover, Goldschmidt notes that 75% of women have identified themselves as their household’s primary shopper so that their influence can be seen at both the corporate and consumer end of the process.

“If we want to connect with shoppers in the stores and at the shelf, it’s time we start thinking of ways to open doors to women,” said Goldschmidt. This report can be accessed on www.plmalive.com.



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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.