Meijer to Detail Innovation’s Role in Driving Private Brands

Brand-building is everybody’s business with opportunities to shine across all operational areas from marketing and merchandising to logistics, e-commerce, store ops, finance and IT.

And in the realm of Private Brands, business is booming. Sales of Private Brands grew 3.9% while national brands rose just 0.6% in a year’s time, according to The Nielsen Company’s latest figures. Among those attuned to Private Brand’s potential is Steve Light, Group Vice President, Merchandising Operations at Meijer, the regional big box with an estimated $16 billion in annual revenues.

Light will share insights on leveraging innovative strategies to propel Private Brand growth and secure customer allegiance for the long-term at the RetailConnections Business Executive Summit, February 24-26, 2013, in Miami. In his keynote, “Taking Private Label Brands to the Next Level: The Role of Innovation as a Foundation for Growth,” Light will outline the forces shaping private label programs including globalization, trends in sourcing and the new frontier of digital media and e-commerce.

As Meijer and other retailers are well aware, Private Brands are outperforming national brands on key metrics, reaching record-breaking levels in both dollars and units sold. And price is becoming a rapidly diminishing consideration for consumers, even as the economy shows signs of recovery. Savvy retailers are investing in existing brands and building new product families to seize this rich opportunity.

Just this week, Walgreen launched a new Private Brand of “green” household goods under the Ology name as a way to differentiate itself from competitors. The first wave of 24 baby and personal care items, light bulbs, cleaning and paper products will hit more than 7,900 stores this week. Another two-dozen Ology products are due out this spring from Walgreen.

Presenters include

  • Stephen Jackson, CIO, Harry Rosen
  • Steve Light, Group VP, Merchandising Operations, Meijer
  • Adam Holyk, DVP, Loyalty & Insights, Walgreen
  • Deanna Steele, VP, IT Applications, Express
  • Lisa Kranc, SVP, Marketing, AutoZone
  • Girisha Chandraraj, EVP, Marketing & Sales, Blick Art Materials
  • Lonnie Lawton, CFO, Helzberg Diamonds Shops
  • Butch Jagoda, VP of IT, Helzberg Diamonds Shops
  • Bryan Tatoff, CFO, Danier Leather
  • Phil Cutter, CIO, Danier Leather
  • Richard Hastings, Macro Strategist, Global Hunter Securities LLC

Registration for the RetailConnections Business Executive Summit February 24-26, 2013, is open to qualified retail executives and registration via Discount rates at the Turnberry Isle Hotel & Resort are available for a limited time, after which point reservations will be accommodated on an as-available basis. Sign up now for this once-a-year senior leadership Summit.

For more information, contact Denise Power, (773) 573-3939 or Marc Millstein (914) 620-5947 or visit our web site. For sponsorship opportunities, contact LuAnn Hallberg, (814) 516-4965

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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.