Family Dollar The Private Brand Movement 2010 Conference

The Early Days of A Private Brand Vision.

This is the second in a series of podcasts leading up to the Private Brand Movement conference conducted by Melissa Sundaram the Online Producer of the event. Please join me at the Hotel Sax from September 27, 29 to discover the future of Private Brand.

\"\"We had the pleasure of speaking with Mary Rachide, DVP Private Brands, Family Dollar Stores. Mary joined Family Dollar as the DVP, Private Brands in January, 2009, after working with the company as an independent consultant to articulate the company\’s high level Private Label vision and strategy. Previously, she was a consultant for McKinsey & Company, focused on the retail and consumer goods industries, and at Liz Claiborne, she was a Divisional Controller. Mary holds an MBA from Duke University and undergraduate degrees in Business and Political Science from the University of Richmond. Mary will be presenting, \”Making it Real: The Early Days of Bringing a Private Brand Vision to Life\” on Monday, September 27 at 4:30pm

Mary will be presenting, “Making it Real: The Early Days of Bringing a Private Brand Vision to Life” on Monday, September 27 at 4:30pm.

My Private Brand readers are eligible to receive a 20% discount off standard rates when they register using the code MYPBRAND.

Mary, could you tell us a bit about your session, what attendees will get out of it by attending and what lessons they’ll learn from you that they can’t get from reading online?
Mary: Absolutely. The “Bringing a Private Brand to Life” session will be focused on the early days of developing a private brand strategy, including building the infrastructure and team resources that are required to bring strategic consistency across an organization. We’ll talk about how we’ve approached building momentum across our organization to achieve the aggressive goals that we’ve set, both for our new and revitalized brand programs.

On the strategy side, we’ll share a consumer centric approach to brand development, as well as analytic approaches for diagnosing current state vs. desired state. In our case, we were also building our private brand team from the ground up, one team member at a time. So, we’ll share our insights on how to develop the people, the processes and the technology that are required to support early implementation.

What do store brands mean to Family Dollar? The big picture?
Mary: At Family Dollar, our private brands represent opportunities to provide our customers with high quality products at significant values vs. the comparable brand.

We are also growing our business in margin enhancing ways. So, we have an eye towards enhancing the offer, improving our quality standards and giving appealing branding and packaging to better meet the needs of our shopper. We want to use private brands to deliver on both the functional and fun parts of our value proposition. We have very aggressive goals for growth, targeting 25% of our overall company sales from private brands in the next few years. A lot of that growth will come from our consumables areas, where our margin rates are very attractive. As we are able to have stronger and stronger brands that appeal and have more of an emotional connection with our shoppers, it will help us unlock our global sourcing opportunities that will give us the room to provide even more value and even better bottomline results.

\"\"What is the strategy behind naming Family Dollar’s new clothing line for children – “Kidgets”? How did your team develop this new name?
Mary: Kidgets was actually a Family Dollar brand name since the late 90’s. Historically, we only used the mark on infant apparel. In early customer research it became clear to us that we had too many brands across our infant, toddler apparel and our HBA baby categories. No one really knew any of the brands. As a result of the lagging recognition, there was also a lag in quality perception. Our HBA team, who actually has the diapers and training pants part of our infant/toddler business, had a ton of energy around revitalizing and refreshing what they were doing with branding. We also made a strategic decision to simplify from having separate boys’ and girls’ brands and apparel and product specific names in diapers and training pants to bring all of these into one, single infant toddler brand that could create some excitement across the breadth of our assortment. We actually worked with an outside agency to help us reconceive the Kidget’s brand and they brought out a really colorful playfulness that has a much stronger emotional appeal with our shoppers. We knew we had a winner based on early customer feedback and focus groups and online research. So far, we’ve marketed the brand aggressively both in store and our circulars and online. We are in the voting phase right now on our “Cute as a Kidget” photo contest and sweepstakes. You can check it out at Our early sales results have been very strong, especially in the diaper’s business.

What was the most challenging part of starting and launching a Family Dollar’s private brand? What lessons did it teach you and your team?
Mary: The hardest part has been moving beyond our past success. When I joined Family Dollar in January of 2009, we already had over a billion dollars in private label business. It was built buyer-by-buyer, category-by-category and sometimes even product-by-product. Organizationally, it is easier to jump in and change things when there is something obviously broken or when you are really working from a blank sheet of paper. But, Family Dollar has had a good thing going with private label long before I came on to the scene. So, the challenge we face now is much more about driving strategic and executional consistency across all of our categories. The analytics and benchmarking to find opportunities is really the easy part. The hard part is that we are constantly asking a lot of folks to do a lot of things very differently than they have before. We are standardizing processes for quality management and testing, as well as branding and package creation to drive consistency in our brands and ensure higher standards across the board. But, we constantly have to answer the question: “Why?” If we were already selling a million units a year before, why do we change the package? Why change the quality? Why change the branding? Well, maybe we could be selling 2 million units a year. If we improve the branding and the quality, maybe our shoppers will be more likely to try other products in our brands. Maybe instead of buying items once in a while, they’ll come back to us every time they need it. So, we continue to learn that there is no such thing as over investing in change management. Building collaborative relationships and constantly proving and centering back on why we are doing what we are doing has been critically important.

Where do you see private brands going in the next five to ten years?
Mary: Over the next five to ten years, I believe that private brands will continue to grow more quickly than the market overall, both in consumable and discretionary categories. Many private brands will continue to fill the role of the economy offer that has been the traditional purview of private label. Across the board, though, we are using private brands to speak more directly to the specific needs of our shopper, be they functional, aesthetic or emotional needs. I don’t know overall that we will see the level of private label penetration in the US that has been achieved in Europe, given the aggressiveness of our American consumer goods companies with protecting their share. But one thing is for certain; the customer will continue to be the ultimate winner as Family Dollar raises the bar on quality and customer relevance and our store brand offer. To win in this market, a brand that’s best to deliver against the needs of the customers and the need that they rely on that brand to fill, whether the brand be a traditional consumer brand or a retailer’s brand.

Our thanks to Mary Rachide for participating in this year’s Private Brand Movement podcast series. We look forward to meeting Mary and you at the event. Don’t forget, visit for more details. See you there!

Listen to the podcast.

My Private Brand readers are eligible to receive a 20% discount off standard rates when they register using the code MYPBRAND.

Family Dollar The Private Brand Movement 2010 Conference

Kidgets Debuts at Family Dollar


Matthews, North Carolina based discount retailer Family Dollar has introduced a new Private Brand for clothing and accessories for newborns through toddlers. The brand, Kidgets will offer items for $10-and-under.

“Our exclusive Kidgets line provides style, comfort and variety for moms to dress their children at price points that meet any budget,” said Howard Levine, Chairman and CEO of the Charlotte-based discount retailer.

According to a company statement released on Tuesday, the brand will feature everything from three-piece clothing sets and shoes to diapers and baby blankets.


As part of the launch Family Dollar is running the “Cute as a Kidget Photo Contest and Sweepstakes.”

To Win the Photo Contest customers may enter a photo of their child (0-3 years old) for the chance to win a Grand Prize of $5,000; a digital camera package and be featured in a Family Dollar Ad.

To win the Sweepstakes customers have three ways to enter online, vote, or text. The Grand Prize is a $500 Family Dollar Gift Card and a digital camera package. 10 Winners per day will also win a $10 Family Dollar gift card for a total of 390 winners.

If you would like to learn more about Family Dollar and their Private Brands join me in Chicago for The Private Brand Movement Conference, September 27-29, 2010 at the Hotel Sax in Chicago. Mary Rachide, DVP Private Brands for Family Dollar will present:

Making it Real: The Early Days of Bringing a Private Brand Vision to Life
It\’s easy to be visionary when it comes to Private Brands, while the realities of bringing the vision to life can be daunting. Family Dollar is at the beginning of a long, but very promising journey to build brands that will drive margin growth and customer loyalty. Mary Rachide will share the many potential challenges and keys to success of early state retail brand building programs.

My Private Brand readers are eligible to receive a 20% discount off standard rates when they register using the code MYPBRAND.

Anthem Bloom Eric Ashworth Family Dollar Kmart-Fashion Safeway Sam's Club Sears-Fashion The Private Brand Movement 2010 Conference Victoria Secret Walgreens

The Private Brand Movement Begins!

\"\"The 2010 Private Brand Movement Conference presented by FUSE will be held September 27-29, 2010 at the Hotel Sax in Chicago. The event is an unprecedented gathering of brand and retail strategists from around the world who will come together to discuss the future of brands at retail. Some of the retailers scheduled to present include, Target, Sam’s Club, Kmart, Office Depot, Safeway, Ahold, Meijer, Bloom, Family Dollar, Walgreens, Ace Hardware, LL Bean, Cabela’s and Victoria’s Secret. They will share their journey of reinventing their brand strategy, packaging and design to be more relevant to today’s new consumers. Conversations center around collaboration, transformation and innovation. As chair of this exciting event I would like to invite you to to come participate, debate and share together we will create the next age of brand management. Make sure to ask for the My Private brand Discount when you register.

Real-world case studies will showcase how the best are developing a customer-centric brand strategy to fuel the design, marketing and brand communication strategy. This is not just a conference; it’s a movement to revolutionize retail. Rise to the challenge of what’s next for your brands and your consumers.

Key deliverables from the 2010 conference include:

  • Develop a Brand Strategy, articulate a brand promise and translate it into the market place
  • New models of collaboration between brands and retailers for innovation and mutual product demand
  • Choose the optimal portfolio mix for your consumers
  • Packaging trends, what matters, what will pop off the shelf?
  • Transform your design team into a brand building force

Scheduled speakers include:

Retailers by Chanel

  • Maurice Markey, Vice President, Private Brands, SAM’S CLUB
  • Annie Zipfel, Director of Owned Brands, TARGET
  • Kim Coovert, Brand Manager, Own Brand Food & Drug, KMART , SEARS HOLDING
  • Vassoula Vasiliou, Director of Private Brands, OFFICE DEPOT


  • Nancy Cota, Vice President Innovation, Consumer Brands, SAFEWAY
  • Melissa Smith-Hazen, Director Strategic Design, Corporate Brands, AHOLD USA
  • Vickie VanHurley, Ph.D., Packaging Design Supervisor, MEIJER
  • Gregg Keeton, Packaging Designer, MEIJER
  • Angie Hunter, Marketing Department, BLOOM/DELHAIZE AMERICA


  • Mary Rachide, DVP Private Brands, FAMILY DOLLAR STORES

Drug/ Convenience & Specialty

  • Moe Alkemade, Divisional VP & GMM Private Brands, WALGREENS
  • Tracey M. Gidich-Zupke, Brand Manager, ACE HARDWARE


  • Marcia Minter, Vice President, Creative Director, L.L.BEAN
  • Eli Getson, Director, Category Management, CABELA’S
  • Melanie Wiesenthal, Creative Director 3D, VICTORIA SECRET BEAUTY

Restaurant & Hospitality

  • Matt Biespiel, Senior Director, Global Brand Strategy, MCDONALD’S CORPORATION
  • Stephen Gates, Senior Creative Director, STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS

Industry Thought-Leaders

  • Eric Ashworth, Chief Strategy Officer, ANTHEM WORLDWIDE
  • Brad Hanna, SVP, Director of CPG, BARKLEY
  • Jim Cusson, President, BIRDSONG GREGORY
  • Diane Brewton, Senior Vice President, Market Intelligence Group, DECISION ANALYST
  • Felicia Rogers, Executive Vice President, DECISION ANALYST
  • Lisa Rider, VP Retail Marketing, THE NIELSEN COMPANY

Visionary Authors

  • Dan Heath, Author of Made to Stick & Switch
  • Scott Davis, Chief Growth Officer, PROPHET & Author of The Shift
  • Dan Hill, Founder and President, SENSORY LOGIC, INC. & Author of Emotionomics
  • Marc Gobé, President, EMOTIONAL BRANDING & Author of Emotional Branding

National Brands & Manufacturers

  • Laura Barry, Vice President of Consumer Insight Services, KRAFT
  • Lynn Cook Betz, Co-Founder & President, SENSIBILITY SOAPS
  • Moira Cullen, Senior Director, Global Design, THE HERSHEY CO.
  • Kit Hughes. Art Director, PHILIPS

The Private Brand Movement
September 27-29, 2010
Hotel Sax, Chicago

2010 Family Dollar

CAREER TUESDAY: Private Brand Intern, Family Dollar

\"\"Private Brand Intern: Family Dollar, Matthews, NC

The internship is designed to provide hands-on experience in Private Branding. The Intern will work with the Private Brands team to develop key initiatives and be a part of meaningful projects that contribute to the success of our business. During the course of the program the candidate will be exposed to many different Private Label concepts and practices. The candidate will also gain experience on how to best communicate with employees in multiple departments potentially including Merchandising, Global Sourcing, Marketing, Public Relations, Customer Research, and/or Store Operations by participating in various cross functional projects.

Principal Duties & Responsibilities:

  • This is a great opportunity for a student pursuing an under graduate or graduate degree in Merchandising or Business to gain on-the-job experience with one of the fastest growing retailers in the country.
  • Candidate must be detail-oriented and have the ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects.
  • Ability to work independently is critical, while working collaboratively with all levels of the Private Label team and our business partners.
  • Must be able to demonstrate strong written and oral communication skills.

Education: Candidate must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program in the above noted disciplines or a related field with a sophomore standing or higher. Minimum 3.0 GPA required.

Skills/Experience: Excellent written and verbal communication skills, self-motivated, organized and able to handle a fast-paced environment, strong research and analytical skills, must be able to work in a team environment. Candidate must be detail-oriented and have the ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects. Ability to work independently is critical, while working collaboratively with all levels of the Private Label team and our business partners. Must be able to demonstrate strong written and oral communication skills.


Family Dollar

Family Dollar Focuses on Private Brands


An an interesting article from BNet they take a look at North Carolina based dollar/value retailer Family Dollar  with the following two paragraphs on the importance of Private Brands at the retailer.

The discount chain is therefore putting more emphasis on food and consumables while taking a cautious approach to discretionary categories such as apparel. It is also going into the private-label business with much more authority.

Private labels offer the company multiple benefits. They provide a range of products it can consistently sell at a 10 to 25 percent discount to manufacturer brands, noted Josh Braverman, a Family Dollar spokesman. Also, CFO Kenneth Smith, in the company’s second-quarter conference call, pointed out that private labels reduce the cost of goods sold, potentially boosting profits as well as sales.

Read the entire story