Monday, December 08, 2008

Private label increases retailer leverage

Wall Street Journal reported on current increases in sales of private label products, and made a case for those increases improving the bargaining position of retailers vis-a-vis their brand name suppliers, with particular emphasis on the increases in trade promotion funding that may result.
Private-label gains come as some name brands lose market share, a shift that industry experts say could benefit grocers on several fronts in their dealing with suppliers. To help further promote their brands, branded consumer goods companies may have to kick in more to a retailer's marketing fund to pay for discounts, two-for-one offers or prime placement in supermarket circulars. Retailers may also get juicier rebate offers from their suppliers, as incentive to help push sales of branded products.
Since PL still only amounts to 16% of volume and with many brands still having a powerful allure to consumers, retailers need to find strategies that balance their marketing of PL and brand names. Trade promotion and pricing will be an important piece of that balancing act..

Part of that strategy may come to include more so-called trade funds that grocers receive from national brands to promote their products in various ways, Karabus's Mr. Weintraub said. This money is usually hashed out in annual contracts, which, with the changing landscape and end of year coming up, are producing some interesting discussions right now.

Additional talks will likely center on price increases that national brands pushed through to retailers throughout the past year as costs for ingredients and fuel rose.

The increasing role of private label and the effect it will have on trade promotion funding and pricing points out (yet again) how vital it is that brand marketers have effective tools for analyzing and optimizing their promotional efforts.

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