Saturday, February 28, 2009

How high will PL go at Walmart?

Walmart is reformulating and repackaging its Great Values food brand, with the intent to significantly increase its market share (it's already, they claim, the #1 food brand in the country).

Which raises a question: how high will Great Value's share go?
According to Information Resources, Inc., the Chicago-based market research firm, private label accounts for 17.6% of dollars and 22.5% of units at Wal-Mart. One securities analyst — Deborah Weinswig of Citigroup — has been quoted as saying that private label might skyrocket to 40% of dollars at Wal-Mart within the next three years. She figures that if Wal-Mart carries the top three branded products in a given category, it could substitute one of them with its own brand.
Even if, as the article argues, the 40% number is too high, if 30% or so is more like it, that still means major food brands will lose ten to fifteen share points at the world's biggest retailer. What is that going to mean to them?

If Great Value is going to be getting that big a share of sales, then it probably also means, as the Citigroup analyst noted, that some brands will be squeezed off the shelf. Which plays into Walmart's efforts at "SKU rationalization":
So Wal-Mart went deep on benchmarking its competition to understand where the product range started and stopped within a given category. Then it worked to achieve a clear offering — paring down to the right number of SKUs so that categories weren’t diluted and fuzzy. With SKUs cut by 10% to 50%, Wal-Mart has been able to achieve higher sales. Fleming says he hasn’t yet seen departments that have lost sales from SKU cuts.
I'd hate the be the #3 brand at Wal-Mart right now.

1 comment:

Dhawal said...

HI Bob,
I would like to know if SKU rationalization a successful way to achieve higher profits in apparels as well?
Also if you know of any store which has implemented this. If you could help me with some particular researches on Space optimization through SKU rationalzation.