Alternative Grocers Prove Store Brands Work

\"\"Alternative/specialty grocers have demonstrated that they can grow and become very profitable and are using Private Brands to do it, according to Roy White in a new video report for PLMALive!

White describes alternative grocers as those that focus on health and high quality products, have fewer SKU\’s, and unique Private Brands. The stores themselves are smaller and also employ highly trained associates to assist customers. White described two chains that are seeing success in this market: Fresh Markets and Sprouts Farmers Markets.

The Fresh Market, a Greensboro, North Carolina based grocer, operates over 120 stores throughout the south, focusing on North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. This chain has seen sales grow 11% during the fiscal year that ended this past January and their net income double in that time from the previous year. The chain is also quickly expanding, having added 20 stores since January 2011 and looking to add more.

Sprouts Farmers Markets are based on Phoenix and operates chains in eight western and southwestern states. Sprouts recently acquired the Sunflower Farmers Market chain, and they are expected to help total sales reach almost $2 billion by years and, averaging almost $15 million dollars for the year in each location.

Although Fresh Markets and Sprouts already feature a large portion of private label in their stores, there is always room for private label to make a bigger move. With focus on unique products, private label should look to further its presence in this alternative market.

Watch the report

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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.