1.15.2006

Private brands surge as retailers try to boost sales

Offering exclusive, high-quality private brands is becoming a critical tool for retailers looking to develop loyal customers in today's highly competitive marketplace, experts said on Sunday at the National Retail Federation's annual conference in New York.

"We have the sameness everywhere," Wilson Zhu, vice president of private brand development and global sourcing at Office Depot Inc. (ODP) said during a panel. "You cannot make a profit by selling Coca-Cola because everybody has it."

So retailers are developing exclusive products that they hope will not only attract shoppers to their stores, but will also entice them to return for the exclusive item.

This trend should bode well for networking companies that are marketing exclusive brands. In the past, consumers tended to shy away from "no-name" brands in favor of highly advertised and promoted items.
If you have an exclusive, high-quality product - consumer-friendly support - competitively priced, there is no reason you should not be able to compete with more recognized name items.
Consumers are looking for alternatives more congruent with their budgets and lifestyles. The challenge to networkers - are you promoting your product effectively.
Dan Stanek, an executive vice president at consulting firm Retail Forward, said roughly 17 percent of Federated's total sales volume comes from private brands, and the department store operator wants to raise that figure to 33 percent.

Private brands can now be found at grocery stores, department stores, office-supply stores and even book stores, the panel speakers said.

Can the networker increase the consumer awareness of their particular product to attract the same group that retailers are now targeting?


iWon Money & Investing

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