Private Brand & PLMA Show Expect Surge As Amazon, Lidl Bring Major Realignment

Amazon’s surprising acquisition of Whole Foods Markets and the long-anticipated rollout of stores by German discounter Lidl are expected to set off far-reaching changes that will boost store brands growth in the U.S. and lead to increased participation for PLMA’s Private Label Trade Show, Nov. 12-14 in Chicago.

With the show taking place at this historic juncture for private brands, and bringing together buyers from all major retail channels and suppliers in every food and nonfoods product category, PLMA is predicting an additional surge of interest in what remains without question the U.S. private label industry’s biggest annual event.

“As is well-known, both Amazon/Whole Foods and Lidl are strongly committed to private label, explains PLMA president Brian Sharoff. “Both are game-changers as they bring entirely new levels of complexity to America’s retail landscape. These are two very powerful entities and they are already challenging established retail leaders across every channel to increase their commitment to private label as well, so there is plenty of reason for optimism among private label manufacturers.

“As an association,” says Sharoff, “it is our responsibility to make sure our member manufacturers and their retailer and wholesaler customers have all the best industry intelligence and expertise at their fingertips to make sense of these ramifications, and access to every resource they will require in order for their store brands to compete amid the changes that are certain to follow.”

PLMA’s speakers and seminars at the show will examine what the likely implications are from realignment of the online and bricks-and-mortar retailing spheres, as well as the new battle for retailing dominance from the value end of the market.

Headlining PLMA’s 2017 speaker program is a keynote speech by Judith Spires, president & CEO of Kings Supermarket Markets, who will address the important role independent chains continue to play in U.S. grocery retailing. A retail trends breakfast will feature Mike Paglia, director of retail insights for Kantar and one of the industry’s leading experts on Lidl, Aldi and the discount sector.

Growing opportunities for private label housewares and kitchen ware, store brands television ads, trends in packaging and design, and changing consumer demographics will also be among this year’s seminar topics. These are in addition to a two-day executive education curriculum for retailers and manufacturers and an exclusive three-hour workshop for chief executives of manufacturers.

The PLMA show itself will fill three huge exhibit halls in Chicago’s Rosemont Convention Center and will feature more than 2,700 exhibit booths from the best store brands manufacturers in virtually every product category imaginable. Tens of thousands of products will include shelf stable, fresh, frozen and refrigerated food and beverages; grocery non-foods, cleaning, and general merchandise; health and beauty, personal care, OTC and more.

Over 5,000 visitors are expected at the show, including buyers and executives from virtually every major U.S. supermarket and drug chain, mass merchandiser, club, limited assortment, convenience and dollar store, in addition to food and non-foods specialty retailers, foodservice distributors and wholesalers.



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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.