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Read PLBuyer's Latest Weekly Report from MarketTrack on Private Label Promotions

May 27, 2011
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EXCLUSIVE: PL Puts Focus on Bakery Items
The bakery department has consistently received the most private label print promotions from major retailers this year through April. Big name retailers H-E-B, Kroger, Publix and Meijer all have devoted more 50 percent of their print ad circular space to the category. 
These findings emerged in an analysis of private label print promotions done exclusively for PLBuyer's eReport by Chicago-based research firm MarketTrack.
On the other end of the promotion spectrum, with little to no promotions being done for this PL category, are private label home consumables which MarketTrack defines as non-health, non-beauty, non-food center store items such as paper products, cleaning products, pet food and laundry items.
While half of the retailers surveyed devoted at least 20 percent to the category, Cincinnati, Ohio-b
ased Kroger has included home consumables in only 9 percent of its ads in the last month, reports MarketTrack which looked at the amount of weekly private label promotions in print circulars for four U.S. retailers.


EXCLUSIVE: Canadian Retailers Gain Lead in Private Label Advertisements

Three Canadian based retailers made their way into the top 10 retailers promoting private labels, according to an analysis of ads for the week ending April 16, 2011 provided exclusively to PLBuyer’s eReport by Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM).

 
“Canadian retailers seem to be growing in their private label marketing,” says Tom Pirovano, vice president, industry insights, at ECRM. “Pharma Plus, for instance, is running three and a half pages of private label ads in the back of their circular.” By bulking together private label products rather than having them all side-by-side retailers can focus on more building the brand equity of private label merchandise, explains Pirovano.

 
Wegmans remains the top promoted of private label products in its circular despite its announcement a few weeks ago that it would be cutting the publication of its circulars in half to every other week. “Wegmans is hitting private label hard and really pushing the about value message, “says Pirovano, “which is a stance that is hard to argue with in this economy.”

 

Looking at category promotions poultry saw the biggest decrease last week with 24.1 percent of circulars devoted to the product. The category also saw a 7 percent decrease compared to its average for private label promotions in 2010. “I think with Easter coming we will see more of an emphasis on ham products rather than poultry,” explains Pirovano.



Exclusive: Ingles Markets Doubles Private Label Ad Promotions

 

Ingles Markets stood out this week in a crowd dominated by private label retail heavyweights like Fresh & Easy, Wegmans and Aldi by nearly doubling its weekly private label promotions compared to its average for private label promotions in 2010, according to an analysis of ads for the week ending April 2, 2011 provided exclusively to PLBuyer’s eReport by Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM).

 

“Both Fresh Market and Ingles Markets showed a spike in private label offerings last week,” says Tom Pirovano, vice president, industry insights, at ECRM. “The fact that they have more than doubled their private label promotions shows a significant jump for both retailers.”

 

Wegmans held on to its top spot last week with 87.5 percent of its weekly ad circular devoted to private label items. The grocer also saw a 33.5 percent increase in its average private label weekly promotions compared to its average for all of last year.

 

“Wegmans is very conscious of the fact that they are considered a more premium store and they want to show consumers that, especially with the rising price of commodities, they are all about value,” says Pirovano. “The company uses its back page to promote primarily private label values. I think in coming weeks they will continue to take an aggressive stand in the marketplace.”

 

Houston, Texas, grocer H.E.B. that took the lead in total private label advertisement blocks since last April with 27.3 percent of its ads devoted to private label products, according to a second report released by ECRM. The Kansas City, Mo.-based Price Chopper saw the other end of the list with 6.02 percent of its advertisement blocks devoted to private label products since last April.

 

“I think Price Chopper uses its ad circulars as a source of revenue instead of as a showcase of its private label products,” explains Pirovano. “Instead of putting an emphasis on circulars the company puts more of an emphasis on in-store marketing to draw attention to its own products



Exclusive: Kerr Drugs Makes Surprise Leap in PL Promotions

 
Kerr Drug made waves last week in private label retail promotions making its way into the top three retailers, according to an analysis of ads for the week ending April 9, 2011 provided exclusively to PLBuyer’s eReport by Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM).

 

The Raleigh, N.C.-based grocer devoted 50.6 percent of its weekly circular to private label promotions, a 28.9 percent increase compared to its average for private label promotions in 2010. “Kerr seems to be making a big push for its own private label Premier Value,” says Tom Pirovano, vice president, industry insights, at ECRM. “The first four pages of the circular seem to be dedicated to private label and private label buy one, get one free promotions. This means that the company is not just doing a lot of ads but deep deals as well across all categories.”

 

While the push is sure to make waves in the retail community Pirovano does not see the action as sustainable. “This is the kind of promotion that may not last from week to week, although that might be the store’s strategy as well. This is probably just a one time push,” he says.

 

Looking at category promotions, allergy products saw a decrease of 11.3 percent compared to its average for private label promotions in 2010. “In recent weeks there has been a push toward branded allergy products because companies like Allegra are taking advantage of the seasonality of the category and pushing promotions,” says Pirovano.  

 



Exclusive: Wegmans Keeps Private Label Promotion Lead

Wegmans once again was the leader in promoting private label items in weekly food retailer ad circulars for the week ending Feb. 26, 2011, according to information provided exclusively to PLBuyer by Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM) from its weekly ad comparison.

Wegmans not only held its lead over other retailers but it also devoted  12.4 percent more of its circular to promoting private label items last week than it did, on average, for all of 2010. Of the items features in its most recent ad, 73 percent were private label products. “Wegmans 2/20 ad circular didn’t just promote more private brands -- it promoted the whole Wegmans shopping experience.  Wegmans weekly circular sets the chain apart with sharp photography, recipes, an article on the humane treatment of animals, and news about teen culinary classes,” says Tom Pirovano, vice president, industry insights, at ECRM.  

The big surprise last week came from Raleigh, N.C.-based Kerr Drug breaking into the top five with 42.9 percent of its ads devoted to private label promotions. The company beat out bigger names like Jewel-OSCO and Big Y Foods in featuring private label. The jump represents a 21.2 percent increase compared with last year’s average rate of private label promotion for Kerr, ECRM found.

Cosmetic accessories was the category in which private label products were most heavily promoted last week, ECRM found. First Aid/wound care dropped to second most featured with allergy medications third, perhaps a sign that allergy season is hitting in various parts of the country starting to emerge from winter.

Analgesics had the biggest drop in private label category promotion with 32.4 percent of featured products which is a 2.6 percent decrease since last year, explains ECRM.




Exclusive: Aldi Topples Wegmans as PL Promotion Leader

For the first time in three weeks, Wegmans lost its place as the top promoter of private label items in weekly food retailer ad circulars, according to an analysis of ads for the week ending March 12, 2011 provided exclusively to PLBuyer by Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM).

Aldi took the lead last week with 79.3 percent of its circular devoted to promoting private label items, a 12.2 percent increase from its average private label weekly promotions  for all of last year.

Wegmans came in a close second last week with 78.9 percent of its circular devoted to private label, a 25 percent increase compared to its average promotion level last year.  Wegmans, Aldi and Fresh & Easy all increased private label promotions last week, says Tom Pirovano, vice president, industry insights, at ECRM.

ECRM also has begun analyzing for PLBuyer which retailers promote private label the heaviest on the front pages of their weekly circulars. The heaviest front-page promoters of private label in the March 12 week weren’t the same as those who are most active in promoting private label throughout their ads.

Fresh & Easy led the way in front page promotions with 16 private label products featured in its ad insert. Harris Teeter, which doesn’t often make the top promoter list, came in a close second in front page private label promotion with 14 products last week. Aldi tied Family Dollar for the third spot with 13 products featured.  




 

Exclusive: Fresh & Easy Takes Command of Private Label Promotions

 

Fresh & Easy took the top spot in promotions of private label items in weekly food retailer ad circulars, according to an analysis of ads for the week ending March 26, 2011 provided exclusively to PLBuyer by Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM).

 

The grocer overtook Wegman’s with 84.6 percent of its circular dedicated to private label products, this is a 23.2 percent increase compared to the average for all of 2010. The top retailers remain in a neck and neck battle for promotional dominance. The biggest decrease came from Aldi who, despite being ranked third on the chart, had six percent less promotional ads compared to last year’s average. The grocer was the only company on the list to show a decrease in promotions for the week ending March 26, 2011.

 

In the categories section numerous areas saw losses with poultry seeing the largest decrease of 2.7 percent in private label promotions compared to last year’s average. First aid and wound care along with paper products each saw dips in promotional ads since last year’s average. Diabetes care products took over the top spot from cosmetic accessories with 57.1 percent of private label ads devoted to the category. This is a 14.4 percent increase since last year’s average and one of the biggest increases on the chart.



Exclusive: First Aid No Longer Top PL Category Promoter

 

Cosmetic accessories was the most heavily promoted private label category last week, taking the number one spot held for several weeks by the first aid and wound care category, which dropped to fourth, according to an analysis of food retailer ads for the week ending March 19, 2011 provided exclusively to PLBuyer by Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM). The largest weekly increase in category promotion was for baking goods, which saw a 17.6 percent boost in private label promotion compared to its average promotion for 2010. 

 

“Baking needs is a very seasonal category, there is always a spike in advertising around the end of March/beginning of April and again around Thanksgiving and Christmas,” says Jason Marshall, CPG promotions business analyst for ECRM. The spike last week could most likely be attributed to baking done for Saint Patrick’s Day parties throughout the country.

 

Harris Teeter replaced Fresh & Easy as the retailer featuring the highest number of private label products on the front page of its weekly circular, ECRM found. Fresh & Easy dropped to fifth place with six less products on its front page compared with the prior week. Both Dominick’s Finer Foods and Safeway competed for the number two spot with 12 ads each last week.

 

After sacrificing its private label promotion lead to Aldi the prior week, Wegmans is back to the top of the charts as promoter of private label items in weekly food retailer ad circulars. Aldi not only lost its lead but also showed a 3.1 percent decrease from its average private label weekly promotions for all of last year. Wegmans, on the other hand, showed an 18 percent increase in its promotions compared with last year, with 72 percent of its ads devoted to private label products.



Exclusive: Wegmans Dramatically Changes Ad, Keeps Promoting PL


Wegmans changed its weekly ad design but that didn’t prevent it from once again being the most active in promoting private label items, according to information on food retailer circulars for the week ending March 5, 2011 provided exclusively to PLBuyer by Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM) from its weekly ad comparison.

“Wegmans ran a really unique ad this past week that is fundamentally different from anything they have run before,” says Tom Pirovano, vice president, industry insights, at ECRM.  “The advertisement was very bright and had a focus on low prices. They used a lot of their own products to remind consumers of their low prices.”

The circular also ran a letter from the management promising customers that, despite the rising price of commodities, Wegmans will not change the price of all 40 products listed in the advertisement. “That is causing a bit of a stir right now,” says Pirovano.

This is the third consecutive week Wegmans has held the top spot in ECRM’s rankings, this time with 78.9 percent of its circular devoted to promoting private label items. This represents a 25 percent increase from last year’s weekly average for Wegmans.

First aid and wound care once again landed on the top of the list for private label categories promoted last week, ECRM found. Baking needs saw the biggest increase in share point difference within the categories with an 11.5 percent increase compared to the average it was promoted last year. Despite the increase, Pirovano sees the boost as a rare spike with no traditional promotional motivation to explain it.


 


View the ECRM Blog

Exclusive: Wegmans Back on Top of Private Label Promotions

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.

 

 


 


Approximately 70.6 percent of the items promoted in Aldi’s circular were private label products, ECRM finds. This is a significant boost from last week when Aldi private label product promotions accounted for only 56.3 percent of its circular.

 

Fresh & Easy is holding steady in its number two spot for the second week in a row. Aldi’s PL ads represents a 3.5 percent increase from its 2010 average while Fresh & Easy’s numbers represent a 7.6 percent increase from last year, ECRM states.

 

Looking at product categories, first aid items again were the most heavily promoted category for the week ending Feb.13, 2011 as they were the prior week, Solon, Ohio-based ECRM tells PLBuyer.

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