Bits and Pieces

May 4, 2009
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Find out what's news in retail and private label.

  • Walmart Canada, Mississauga, Ontario, announced it will expand its line of environmentally preferable private label cleaning products. Offered under the GreenLine brand name, the one-year-old collection will now encompass nine biodegradable, phosphate- and dye-free cleaners, including dish soap, dish detergent gel and dish detergent tabs.

  • The results are in: St. Louis-based Save-A-Lot will keep the Bubba Cola brand for its line of private label soft drinks. According to the Save-A-Lot Web site, the value-oriented grocer proposed a name change earlier this year, but loyal Bubba Cola drinkers rallied to its defense in an online poll, describing the moniker as “catchy” and “easy to remember,” among other positives.

  • The Wall Street Journal reported April 27 that Best Buy will expand its line of private label electronics in an effort to gain a competitive edge over rivals Walmart and The Minneapolis-based company hopes to use the abundance of customer feedback it gathers in-store to make simple improvements to already established gadgetry.

  • Fresh & Easy, El Segundo, Calif., reports sales of the 40- to 45-ounce family-sized meals it introduced in March have already claimed the top six spots in its list of best sellers - out of a range of more than 110 produced fresh daily in the company's centralized kitchen. The products are designed to help cash-strapped customers feed a family of four for just $8.00.

  • After enjoying torrid growth over the past several years, sales of premium-priced organic products expanded by only about 1 percent over the past year, according to new research by New York-based The Nielsen Co. The jury's still out on whether sales will pick up after the economy improves or whether recent changes in consumer spending behavior will persist.

  • In what’s being dubbed a "hands-off" approach, The Kroger Co., Cincinnati, said it will offer minimal push backs on national brand prices, letting brand manufacturers and suppliers decide for themselves on product pricing. But according to a report on the April 28 Dow Jones Newswire, the grocer will also hold those companies responsible for any decreases in volume that may result from overpricing.

  • Harris Teeter, Matthews, N.C., said it will open its first LEED-certified store in Charlottesville, Va., on May 6. The location is also the first on the East Coast to earn Gold Level certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's GreenChill program, which encourages the use of environmentally friendlier commercial refrigeration systems.

  • Montvale, N.J.-based Pathmark, part of the A&P family of stores, recently kicked off a weeklong savings event that offers "4 Ways to Save," including "unbelievable prices" on the chain's America's Choice and Smart Price brands. The Big Save event also features a sweepstakes, product sampling and giveaways.

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