Safeway’s Joe Ennen to Speak at PLBuyer June Private Label Conference

Safeway Senior Vice President of Consumer Brands Joe Ennen will be a featured keynote speaker at PLBuyer’s inaugural Private Brand conference, Private Label: the Next Generation, June 5-7 in Chicago.

Ennen will address how retailers can think like national brand owners in marketing, merchandising and selling their private labels. He’ll also be presented, on behalf of Safeway, with PLBuyer’s Private Label Retailer of the Year Award. Safeway was chosen as the magazine’s 2012 retailer of the year because of its brand-like approach to promoting its Private Brand, such as its use of an integrated marketing campaign to back its Open Nature line.

Speaking with PLBuyer for its January cover story on Safeway, Ennen described how Safeway has blended existing Private Brand talent with new talent brought in from a variety of CPG companies.

“It’s really about the infusion of new ideas,” Ennen says in that story. “It’s about [considering and implementing] best practices from other companies and other industries. We’ve hired a significant number of people from CPG as well as created opportunities for people within the organization to move onto the consumer brands team.”

Other retailers, such as Weis Markets, Price Chopper and Family Dollar, also will have private label executives speaking at the conference, which also will include attendees taste-testing a wide range of private label foods and beverages.

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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.