Private Label Buyer

PLMA Show Coverage: Expect Walgreens to Role Out Redesigned PL OTC Offerings

November 13, 2011

Walgreens, which this year began introducing its new Nice! Private label, will soon be introducing newly designed private label OTC lines , said Laura Sturdevant, director of product development, private brands, at the annual Private Label Manufacturers Association's trade show Sunday. Also, expect a new Walgreens opening price point private label, in packaging sporting a smiling sun but bearing no name, featuring household products such as cleaners and paper towels. It will debut in the next 30 to 60 days, she said.

Walgreens' wants to grow its private label consumable sales12-15 percent next year, said Sturdevant, who oversees consumables. Over the next five to seven years, Walgreens aims to double its private label sales from today's $4 billion.

It's expanded its private brand group from five people two and a half years ago to 40 people today. Its looking for new suppliers with the goal of having dual sourcing for all its private label items to avoid unexpected disruptions to its supply chain that would mean lost sales, she said. Half the private label group at Walgreens is devoted to product quality and integrity, ensuring quality from suppliers, she noted.

Walgreens approach to private label has “moved from managing products in categories to managing brands,” she said. It's working with three design firms, including New York based CBX, on its private label redesigns, and has put advertising dollars behind its private labels as well. Marketing for Nice! has included national media, in-store and social elements, she noted.

Walgreens' Pet Shoppe private label and its former DR Delish [now just Delish] are among finalists in PLBuyer's Design Excellence Awards; winners will be announced Monday evening at a special reception in the Hyatt O'Hare's Grand Ballroom G.