Private Label Buyer
Doug's Drift

Private Label's Big Show

November 6, 2013

The annual PLMA Show is taking place November 17–19 in the shadow of the great city of Chicago in Rosemont, Ill. For those of us who make the private label retail industry our home, this is The Big Show. It’s a pivotal highlight of the year for our business—and the overall retail industry. As we walk through the convention hall doors, each of us carries notions of what the future of private label holds for our particular categories, channels and other concerns—ideas that gain traction through the course of our conversations on the show floor, adding new insights along the way. In many ways, this show lays groundwork for the coming year and beyond as we peruse available products, reinforce existing relationships while exploring new business, and bounce ideas and accumulated reflections off our colleagues.

To help with your show planning process, this issue contains our 2013 PLMA Show Guide, starting on page 33. It includes some insight on what to expect at this year’s show, a show schedule and a lineup of highlighted products and services.

Our cover story for the issue, starting on page 23, details 10 of the top trends affecting the direction of private label in the months—and potentially years—to come. A signature, underlying current that runs through these trends is storytelling—a pivotal brand-building aspect of the business I’ve discussed in these pages in the past (and will again…) that nobody in the industry should overlook. The potential power of storytelling connects the dots for any store brand, placing the product within a contextual narrative for shoppers, establishing connections well beyond the simple consumer need or desire. Some stories might be short and straight to the point. At other times, a store brand, new product from the supply chain, or business capability will dictate the need for a more-intricate weaving of a tale, stringing together seemingly disparate details—through marketing, advertising, in-store messaging, packaging and beyond—that eventually coalesce to paint a striking picture. This is the essence of building true private brands—and the core of building long-lasting relationships with shoppers.

 As I walk the show floor, or staff the PLBuyer booth (#F6616), I hope you’ll take a minute to share your stories, insights and observations—and well as some thoughts on the future. Together we can continue to break new ground for private label, driving our collective businesses to unprecedented heights.