Albertsons Private Brand tops 25.6% & Leads IPO

Earlier this week Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Companies, Inc. announced that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering. In its prospectus the second-largest U.S. traditional grocer said that it plans to achieve significant growth by sharpening in-store execution, growing private brands and building out its tech infrastructure.

The retailer operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia including Acme, Albertsons, Carrs, Haggen, Jewel-Osco, Pavilions, Plated, Randalls, Safeway, Shaw’s, Star Market, Tom Thumb, United Supermarkets and Vons.

The retailer further reported that same-store sales have grown for eight straight quarters, with a 2.7% increase in the third quarter of 2019, up from 1.9% a year earlier. For fiscal 2018, it made a profit of $16.9 billion on sales of $60.5 billion and significantly reduced its debt load.

Our Own Brands portfolio has continued to contribute to identical-sales growth and margin expansion,” the company noted. “Penetration of our Own Brands has expanded over the past two years, growing from 22.3% in the first quarter of fiscal 2017 to 25.6% in the third quarter of fiscal 2019. Own Brands identical-sales growth has exceeded total company identical-sales growth by at least 100 basis points for 11 straight quarters.”

“We have simplified our merchandising programs, automated our front-end scheduling processes and expanded self-checkout in 435 additional stores during the first three quarters of fiscal 2019,” Albertsons said. “These enhancements have been instrumental in improving store-level productivity, allowing us to increase our focus on the customer. We have remerchandised over 700 stores since the beginning of fiscal 2017, reallocating space to better accentuate high-growth fresh categories like produce, meat and seafood, bakery, prepared foods, deli, and floral. This, coupled with our robust remodel program, has also allowed us to optimize store layouts and ease shopping patterns to make things simpler for customers and employees.”

Albertsons has been owned for the past 14 years by a group of investors led by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management. Wall Street analysts estimate the IPO would be one of the biggest IPOs this year exceeding $100 million, a placeholder.

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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.