Macy’s Sets 40% Private Brand Goal

As this week’s Shoptalk Conference in Las Vegas shuts down it is interesting to note that Private Brand made notable appearances in a number of presentations. Not the least of which was the opening keynote from Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette titled Macy’s Transformation – The Path to Growth“. He reiterated the retailer’s strategic goal to grow private brand penetration the as much as 40% of the assortment.

On Monday, the panel: “The Growth of Private Label” featuring Molly Langenstein, General Business Manager, Ready To Wear, Macy’s, Inc.; Jan Wilmking, SVP Private Labels, Zalando SE, Zalando and Tim Zawislack, Head of E-commerce, Delta Galil, USA. The panel moderated by Laura Heller, Editor, Retail Dive included a lively discussion on private brand in fashion that is relevant for other retailers and categories.

Macy’s Molly Langenstein offered the five key reasons the retailer will aggressively grow its private brands.

  1. STORE TRAFFIC: Traffic continues to shift from brick and mortar
    they’re looking for a destination worthy of a visit.
  2. VS. OFF PRICE: Off-Price has changed the multi-brand game
    they’re succeeding based on price and the thrill of the hunt.
  3. VS. OUR PEERS: Multi-brand competitors are growing Private Brands
    they’re protecting market share through exclusivity
  4. VS. AMAZON: Amazon is focusing on winning in Apparel
    they’re easy and convenient to shop
  5. RETAILIZATION: Traditionally wholesale brands are investing in their own retail channels
    they’re growing their direct-to-consumer business

“Our biggest challenge is understanding with certainty and precision in a business that is not about precision, and the supply chain piece is a huge part that has just not changed in a very, very long time. This is still a handmade industry,” Langenstein said. “The uniqueness consumers are demanding today is making it very hard whether you’re a big company or a small company to provide that uniqueness with certainty and that is something we are all continuing to grapple with.”

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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.