New Sam's Club Brands Signal Effort to Boost PL Sales

June 6, 2011
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Walmart’s  Sam's Club unit is replacing its longstanding Members Mark brand with three new private labels. The replacement of Members Mark grocery, bakery and beauty items signals that the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer wants to boost private label grocery sales at Sam’s Club outlets, an analyst tells PLBuyer’s eReport.


“What this means to me is that there’s a perception that Member’s Mark is a ‘tainted’ brand, and is perceived as being low quality,” says Paula Rosenblum, managing partner for Retail Systems Research. “None of these initiatives take hold overnight, so replacing Member’s Mark will likely be accompanied by a variety of promotions to create interest in the new brand(s).”


The replacement of Members Mark with Daily Chef (grocery items), Simply Right (personal care) and Artisan Fresh (baked goods) is part of the megastore retailer's ongoing attempt to improve private label quality and boost private label sales, which have been flat over the past five quarters, Rosenblum says.


The successful accomplishment of these goals includes convincing consumers that the new brands are of solid quality, notes Rosenblum. “If Sam’s wants to successfully compete with Costco, it’s imperative that it creates a brand with an image that’s closer to the [Costco’s] Kirkland PL,” she says.

Walmart expects to complete the rollout by the end of October.

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