Judge Rejects Kroger’s Request For Injunction Against Lidl

In an article, this morning Richmond, Virginia daily newspaper Richmond Times Dispatch reports on the first day of the contentious Kroger’s “Private Selection” versus Lidl “Preferred Selection” private brand legal battle. According to the article, round one went to Lidl.

After a day of testimony in which both sides presented expert witnesses who surveyed consumers to gauge confusion over the brands, U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. denied Kroger’s request to prohibit Lidl from selling Lidl’s own store brand “Preferred Selection.” Gibney set the case for a bench trial Jan. 11.

“I think the public interest lies in competition,” Gibney said.

The logos look “somewhat alike,” he said.

“I don’t find they have an identical or similar meaning,” he added, noting that the words “private” and “preferred” have different meanings.

In testimony Tuesday, Brendan Proctor, Lidl’s U.S. president and CEO, said the Preferred Selection label is on about 160 items carried by Lidl. “We wanted each product to look individual and to stand out from the market,” Proctor said.

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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.