Exclusive Retailer Spotlight: Wegmans Pushes PL Promotions

September 15, 2011
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Wegmans has put a solid focus on its private label products in its weekly ad circulars, showing heavy PL promotion across multiple categories in its weekly ads, according to an analysis provided exclusively to PLBuyer’s eReport by Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM).


The Rochester, N.Y.-based retailer saw private label frozen seafood, private label beef and private label pasta sauces account for 100 percent of its print ads in each of those categories for the 52-weeks ending Sept. 10, 2011. Private label accounted for 82 percent of Wegmans’ pasta sauce advertisements in the prior 52-week period. Private label beef and frozen seafood were featured in 95 percent and 96 percent of print advertisements for the previous period, respectively.


Every Wegmans ad category examined by ECRM, except for carbonated soft drinks and side dishes, showed at least 50 percent private label promotion for the most recent 52-week period. In the case of side dishes, there were no private label print promotions.


“Wegmans is not like most grocers. They do a tremendous amount of their own food preparation as well as going to direct, versus distributors, for most of their perishable categories including meat, fish, produce, bakery. This enables them to extend the differentiation they have from other operators by heavily advertising and, in doing so, extend the reach of their own brand,” says Bill Emerson, president of the West Palm Beach County, Fla.-based retail consulting firm Emerson Advisors. “As to whether this is a trend, I think, for Wegmans, yes. For others, who lack the commitment and capitalization of their own products, not so much.”


“Offhand I would say that in an uncertain economy, and we’re certainly in one of those, it’s always good to promote the private label value message. If the National Retail Federation (NRF) is right and consumers are suffering ‘spending fatigue,’ then promoting private label serves two purposes: it allows retailers to promote while keeping reasonable gross margins and it allows the consumer to feel they are getting more value for their money,” explains Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at Miami-based Retail Systems Research (RSR Research). “As food commodity prices continue to rise, I expect to definitely see more private label promotions. It’s a win-win for consumers and retailers alike.”

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