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School Days Shoppers Get the ABCs of Private Label

August 30, 2010
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Half the respondents to a back-to-school survey say store brand lunch components and school supplies are a better value than national brands. Even among households earning at least $55,000, more than two-thirds say store brand quality of lunch-box options is equal to or better than national brands.



 

Half the respondents to a back-to-school survey say store brand lunch components and school supplies are a better value than national brands. Even among households earning at least $55,000, more than two-thirds say store brand quality of lunch-box options is equal to or better than national brands.

 “We asked consumers what had changed,” Susan Viamari, editor of SymphonyIRI’s Times & Trends tells PL Buyer’s eReport. “And we got a powerful response from consumers who were putting thought into what they buy. They are doing more planning, they are stocking goods, and they are going with sales items. As important is that brand loyalty has been shaken. For the lunch box, and beyond, shoppers have a very good impression of store brands.”
 
On the other hand, the just-released SymphonyIRI Research and Consulting Group annual Back-to-School survey points out that more than 30 percent of $50,000+ consumers still believe national brand lunch-box options are superior.
 
 “Store brands aren’t much promoted,” says Viamari. “Retailers and manufacturers need to step up their marketing efforts and invest in innovative products. Their store brands must successfully reflect the image of the retail banner. On the other hand, avoidance of marketing and innovation investments are what make private label so profitable, so a balance has to be struck.”
 
In general, the survey paints a picture of shoppers continuing to search for value in a struggling economy. Fully 62 percent of respondents earning less than $35,000 consider themselves worse off today than a year ago.
 

Principal survey findings include:

  • ·          69 percent of all respondents are focused on watching spending and saving money
  • ·          46 percent of households earning more than $100,000 plan to shop more at supercenters such as Walmart Supercenter and SuperTarget.
  • ·          More than 55 percent of all respondents are stocking up on items because they are on sale and buying what’s on sale versus their favorite brands.

“The good news that corporations are reporting in their second-quarter earnings is not translating to consumer confidence,” says Viamari. “Even shoppers in higher-income brackets are channel shifting to save money. Typically, lower-income shoppers are the most price-sensitive and lead in economizing trends. This year, shoppers in households earning $55,000 and more are frequently as aggressive about saving money as other shoppers.”

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