Private Label Buyer

Exclusive: Wegmans Back on Top of Private Label Promotions

February 24, 2011

Wegmans lead the way in promoting private label items in its weekly circular for the week ending February 19, 2011, according to information provided exclusively to PLBuyer by Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM) from its weekly ad comparison.

Based on last week’s numbers Wegmans jumped two spots on the list with 60.6 percent of its advertisements dedicated to private label products. These results represent a 6.7 percent increase since last year, ECRM states. Fresh & Easy remained in its spot at number two with a 1.4 percent decrease in private label promotion since last year. Big Y Foods made its way into the top three with 32.1 percent private label promotion showing a 9.4 percent increase since last year.

“There are a lot of retailers who are getting more disciplined and scientific in their private label promotions and smaller stores like Big-Y seems to be seeing the benefit of that,” says Jim Hertel, managing partner at the Barrington, Ill.-based market research firm Willard Bishop.  The stores 75th anniversary has also given the company a reason to push its private brands, says Tom Pirovano, vice president, industry insights, at ECRM.  

On the product side first aid/wound care remained in the top position with 55 percent of private label promotions and cosmetic accessories trailing close behind at 52.6 percent.

“Although it’s difficult to predict, I would expect to see an increase in private label share of retail ads next week,” says Pirovano “Retailers tend to promote traditional brands for the weeks before and after the Super Bowl, so look for increase in private label promotions compared with the past few weeks.”

Also, we’ve been hearing more news about gas prices which can lead to higher food costs.  In 2008, we saw higher prices hit commodity categories first, giving the impression that sales were shifting to private label.  This initial increase in PL dollars was a reflection of pricing more that consumer preference.  We may see similar trends in 2011 explains Pirovano.