Velocity Concludes With Walmart, Publix, and Calls to Action

    Velocity is a wrap, but its messages will live on.

    The event’s final day featured presentations from Walmart, Publix and other retailers that relayed how far Private Brand has evolved with new missions and strategies.

    “We use Private Brand to lead the way on sustainability,” said Jack Pestello,

    Senior Vice President of Private Brands and Manufacturing for Walmart U.S.

    He pointed to the retailer’s stances on palm oil and post-consumer plastics, and cited an emphasis on end-to-end supply chain.

    “We focus on good brands that deliver trust with customers. We want to be good for customers and for the world.”

    In another presentation, Tim Cox, director of Creative Services, Publix Super Markets, shared lessons from a groundbreaking private brand package redesign a number of years ago that initially sparked internal resistance but ultimately met with great success. The veteran retail executive was interviewed on stage by Christopher Durham, president, My Private Brand.

    “Be cautious with research, because what customers say is sometimes different than what they do,” Cox said. “And trust seasoned designers, because they think more like customers than anyone else I know.”

    Speakers urged the audience of retailers, suppliers and agency executives to take measured risks and learn quickly in order to move forward on Private Brand.

    “Be a leader and disrupt,” said Marie Horodecki-Aymes, director, Design and Packaging, for Canadian retailer Metro. “Be agile. Be honest. Never forget that food is about pleasure.”

    More news and insights from Velocity will be relayed in the coming weeks through articles on the My Private Brand.

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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.