2018 The Stories that Shaped the Year – Evolution, Revolution and Innovation

2018 was a watershed year for Private Brand and a great year for My Private Brand, readership and subscribers grew significantly making the site the most widely read daily Private Brand site in the world. The Vertex Awards celebrated its 5th anniversary with a record number of entries. The Velocity Conference dodged a hurricane and still saw 25% growth and we announced the expansion of the Velocity Conference to Europe in 2019.

We continued to push the envelope with first to market stories, insights, and strategy including stories on Safeway, Kroger, Target, Walmart, Meijer, Lowe’s, Sam’s Club and Hy-Vee just to name a few.

Looking back on 2018, five stories dominated the conversation on My Private Brand. I dare say those stories will also help shape the zeitgeist of 2019.

Amazon Aggressively Grows Private Brand
In 2018 Amazon continued to assertively expand private brand portfolio and to insistently promote its private brand products with all of its resources.

Walmart 2018 Investment Community Meeting at the David Glass Technology Center in Bentonville Arkansas on October 14, 2018.

“I want to challenge your thinking about Walmart.”
Walmart President and CEO, Doug McMillon presented a bold vision at its annual meeting for the investment community. That vision was brought to life in 2018 through innovation, acquisition and a commitment to private brand.

Target Reinvents Its Private Brand Portfolio
This year, the retailer continued the aggressive reinvention of its private brand portfolio with the launch of eight new, private brands across. From Universal Thread, Prologue, Wild Fable and Original Use in apparel and accessories, to Opalhouse and Made By Design in home, Smartly in beauty and essentials and Heyday in electronics

Simple Truth Hits $2b
Kroger’s remarkable commitment to Simple Truth and its continued growth has led the way in the mainstreaming of natural and organic products in North America.

Jet.com wins the Vertex Awards Best of Show
Jets win marks not only the first time in the history of the Vertex Awards an American retailer has won Best of Show but also the first time an online retailer has taken the honor.

Take a look back at the top stories of the year based on your readership, change and growth dominate the list with three positions, however, it is interesting to note that a number of opinion pieces drew a lot of attention.

What was your favorite story?

  1. Vertex Awards New York Gala Celebrates “Awesome” Private Brands
  2. Doug McMillon: “I want to challenge your thinking about Walmart.”
  3. Target Accelerates Multiyear Strategy
  4. Kroger’s Simple Truth Brand Reaches $2 Billion
  5. Manifesto for a Private Brand Revolution
  6. The New York Times: Everything on Amazon Is Amazon!
  7. Loblaws Redesigns and Reenergizes President’s Choice
  8. Online Disruptors Boxed, Jet and Brandless Redefine Private Brand
  9. Amazon, the New York Times and The Destruction of Brands
  10. Ahold Delhaize Wins With Private Brand
  11. Five Private Brand Package Design Trends to Watch
  12. Costco Debuts Kirkland Signature Razors
  13. 7‑Eleven Adds Cold Pressed Organic Juice to 7-Select Go!Smart
  14. CVS – Designed to be Different
  15. O Organics Becomes a $1b Brand
  16. ALDI Goes Vegan With Earth Grown
  17. Waitrose Unveils New “Free From” Food Private Brand
  18. ASDA Sparkles With Nosecco
  19. Albertsons Expands Signature Reserve
  20. Albert Heijn Innovates With Sauces
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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.