Some nice Private Brand design from the English design shop Burst. According to the design blog Lovely Package: “The Superdrug Nappies range is a part of the overall baby range, design update that burst did this year. It is carried across nappies, toiletries, wipes and accessories. We chose a bold iconic graphic animal theme to work across the range, reminiscent of children’s board books to engage both mother and child. The simplified iconic animals images help identify the products on shelf and aid partners and family when purchasing i.e. “The red elephant pack”. And the large bold use of type for the age also helps identify which product to select. The packs simplicity is far removed from the chaotic graphic mess that dominates the nappy sector.”
This fascinating profile of the late Private Brand design icon Don Watt appeared in today’s Canadian daily The Globe and Mail.
Marketing guru Don Watt rebranded Loblaws
‘Wherever I look I see a bad line, a dumb colour, a dumb shape. It would be so easy just not to have that,\’ he said in 2005
You probably have never heard of Don Watt, but your brain has no doubt registered his work, especially the part of it that reacts to colours and images and how those interact to make you want to eat, drink, wear or otherwise own whatever they adorn.
Described variously as a marketing visionary, retail guru, brand builder and even genius, Mr. Watt almost single-handedly redesigned the Canadian supermarket from the ground up, changing the way we shop for everything from soup to nuts – literally.
“He was among the first designers to envision a system of branding the entire store, including shelf fixtures, product packaging that went on shelves, aisle signage, department signage, interior design, exterior signage, advertising and promotional messages,” said a 2008 cover story in Private Label Magazine. “In essence, he created a total communications system to deliver a unified store brand message to customers.”
Mr. Watt saw it all in simpler terms: “I want to get rid of ugly,” he told Canadian Business in 2005. “Wherever I look I see a bad line, a dumb colour, a dumb shape. It would be so easy just not to have that.”
Considered by many to be the most influential retail designer of the past 25 years, he was best known for creating the hugely successful Loblaw house-brand packaging, for both the No Name and President\’s Choice lines. The latter, with the stylized “PC,” gave the products an up-market cachet and carried the stamp of approval from the boss himself (and Dave Nichol\’s own handwriting).
The collaboration is the latest step in a well-established relationship that has resulted in close to 280 products at Carrefour so far, including: toys, publishing, textiles and stationery.
The new products featuring Disney characters have launched at Carrefour in France, Belgium, Spain and Italy. The companies worked together to develop the brand of around 50 nutritionally balanced food items, which includes: pasta, jams, fresh cheese, tarts, yogurt and cereals.
According to a press release, \”Disney is in a unique position to offer food that combines fun and nutritional benefits that will appeal to both kids and their parents,\” says Jean Francois Camilleri, general manager of The Walt Disney Company, France.
In a fascinating move Private Brand trailblazers Loblaw’s has appointed the creator of their Joe Fresh Private Brand design guru Joe Mimran to oversee home furnishings, electronics, sporting goods, books, toys and hardware. This is an amazing turn of events for the both Mimran and Loblaw’s and is certainly the first time a prominent designer will lead varied categories from electronics to sporting goods for the Canadian retailer. This article from the Globe and Mail details the announcement and the history of Joe Mimran at Loblaw’s.
Joe Mimran managed to do what many thought wasn\’t possible: He made grocery giant Loblaw Cos. Ltd. a destination for cheap-chic fashion.
Now Loblaw executives are betting that Mr. Mimran can do for its ailing non-food businesses what he did in its fashion aisles. The design guru, who co-founded the Club Monaco clothier before its was sold to fashion powerhouse Ralph Lauren, developed the Joe Fresh line for the grocer almost four years ago. Today, it is one of Canada\’s top apparel brands.
He now has been handed the added responsibility for Loblaw\’s other general-merchandise sections, including home furnishings, electronics, sporting goods, books, toys and hardware.
\”It is a vote of confidence in him,\” said Brian Yarbrough, an analyst at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Mo. \”He can definitely help drive the business in some of these other categories. But it would be unrealistic to expect the other categories to be nearly as successful as what we\’ve seen out of Joe Fresh.\”
Over the past three years, Loblaw has been racing to turn around its supermarket business, squeezed partly by the botched expansion into general merchandise. But the fashion business has been an unlikely silver lining for Loblaw\’s controlling Weston family, who recruited Mr. Mimran for his style prowess.
Apparel is appealing because its profit margins can be more than double those of food. But just as food goes stale, fashion also has best-before dates and can cause financial pain if the styles fall flat and have to be cleared at a discount. General merchandise can generate better margins than groceries, although Loblaw needs to draw customers with enticing products.
Now Allan Leighton, president of Loblaw and a long-time adviser to the Westons, has hand-picked Mr. Mimran to help solve the retailer\’s non-food problems. Mr. Leighton said yesterday that Mr. Mimran has lit a fire under the Joe Fresh fashion business and can perform similar magic in the other departments.
\”He\’s got that business cooking on gas,\” Mr. Leighton said. \”You couldn\’t have a better guy than Joe running it because he knows what he\’s doing. \” Mr. Mimran has a knack for picking cheap and cheerful styles ranging from $80 wool pea coats to $30 skinny jeans. He sources them overseas at low cost, and refreshes the offerings regularly.
He can borrow from having expanded into home furnishings at Club Monaco, and drawing up plans for the now defunct – but at the time edgy – Caban home decor chain.
Still, Mr. Mimran has hit snags with Joe Fresh that he\’ll want to avoid – most of which were tied to Loblaw\’s weak merchandising systems, which at times left shelves empty because they were incapable of tracking demand and replenishing stores on time.
The systems have improved, but Mr. Leighton said they still have a long way to go. This year, the company is investing heavily in its supply chain and information technology, although the upgrade will pinch operating profit by about $185-million, executive chairman Galen G. Weston warned yesterday, adding that Loblaw overall faces two of its toughest years ahead.
Loblaw has scaled back its ambitions in some non-food departments and shifted space to food, apparel and health and beauty items. Joe Fresh by last year had become the second-biggest clothing brand in this country by unit sales.
\”We really do believe that could be a billion dollar business,\” Mr. Leighton said.
Here is the Fall 2009 Commercial, pretty cool.
British chocolate company Thorntons was established by Joseph William Thornton in 1911. Annual sales for the chocolatier are over £180 million from nearly 400 stores, around 200 franchises the Internet, mail order and commercial sales. Since the takeover of Cadburys by Kraft, Thorntons is now the largest, independent chocolate and confectionary company in the United Kingdom.
According to an article this week in the Financial Times, “We’ve prioritised growing the Thorntons brand,” said Mike Davies, chief executive. “With Thorntons-branded products, we make a higher margin, rather than with private-label products, so there’s a profit implication.”