Christopher Durham is the VP of retail brands at Theory House, the branding and retail marketing agency. He is an author, consultant, strategist and retailer with close to 20 years of real-world retail and corporate experience creating, launching and building billion dollar Private Brands. His influential website, My Private Brand , seeks to drive the changing Private Brand landscape, focusing on the emerging art and science of Private Brand management. With readers from more than 67 countries and more than 3,000 stories, he has worked to push the traditional industry from the dark ages of private label into the new era of retailer-owned BRANDS.
While working at Lowe’s Home Improvement, he developed and implemented the strategy for their multi-billion dollar portfolio of Private Brands, as well as creating and managing many of those brands. Prior to Lowe’s, he served as brand manager at Delhaize America, where he developed and delivered retail brand marketing as well as Private Brand strategy and development for Food Lion, Bloom, and Bottom Dollar.
He is a trusted consultant for many of the world’s leading retailers, including Office Depot, Best Buy, Lowe’s Home Improvement and Grainger.
Durham is the author of the groundbreaking book on retailer owned brands, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. He is a much sought-after thought leader who has been featured in columns and interviews in the Washington Post, Brand Packaging, Private Label Buyer, Global Retail Brands, Food Processing, Retail Leader, PLMALive! and Food Processing Magazine.
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, Shopper Insights in Action, FMI Private Brand Summit, Private Label Buyer Conference and the Own Label Conference in London, England.
Kim Justen is a freelance writer and corporate communications consultant with over 15 years of writing and editing experience. She has drafted messages for Hanes, Liberty Hardware and several non-profits, as well as writing packaging copy for all of Lowe’s Home Improvement’s Private Brands. She is always on the lookout for the next brand, company or author in need of brand communications and strategy. Her work has been seen Our State, the Winston-Salem Journal and Global Retail Brands.
Lynn Celmer formerly served as Managing Editor for Private Label Buyer and oversaw the twice weekly PLBuyer eReport as well as the PLBuyer SuperStore. Her background is in both newspapers and magazines. She has a degree in Journalism from Northern Illinois University. Some of her favorite retailers to shop for private label products at include Dominick’s, Target, Trader Joe’s and Walgreens.
Founder and managing director of Gyld Collective , a collaborative communications and branding firm, she is also contributing editor to Trends Magazine , a Canadian business publication, where she writes about retail and design innovators. Trained in business and communications, she has worked with many leading lifestyle and fashion brands, innovative manufacturers and retailers in Canada, the US and internationally for over 15 years.