Coles Radically Consolidates & Reinvents Private Brand

coles redesignAustralian grocer Coles is undertaking the biggest reinvention of its private brands since the chain was bought by Wesfarmers in 2007, the move will roll out a radical consolidation of its private brand portfolio designed to better compete with German discounter Aldi. The move is also designed to threaten archrival Woolworths just as the retailer is revaluating its own traditional multi-tiered merchandising focused private brand strategy. (I would love to take on this project).

Under its new private brand strategy, headed by recently – appointed Coles executive and Canadian retail veteran Michael Lovsin, Coles will eliminate a number of its old school private brands such as Smart Buy, Simply Less and replace it with a single eponymous brand called Coles which will feature a distinctive red ribbon. Coles Finest will be kept for specialty and seasonal items. The new Coles brand will be rolled out to 99% of the thousands of private brand groceries.

The Coles brand will still have products at each of the good, better, best tiers. However, this will not be called out via specific branding — and will be identified by features and price.

This would make for a great Vertex Awards entry!



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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.