Posted by Barry Silverstein on December 5, 2012 11:14 AM
It turns out that Fresh & Easy was neither, in the end.
Tesco, the third largest retailer in the world, has announced that is ready to pull up stakes and close its 200 Fresh & Easy supermarkets in California and Nevada after a largely unsuccessful five-year run.
As Tesco CEO Phil Clarke put it about why the US grocery store brand is "under strategic review," "It just became clear to us that the journey to sustainable returns was going to take too long. ... It's likely but not certain that our presence in America will come to an end."
Tim Mason, deputy chief executive in charge of the U.S. business, has left the company, effective immediately, after 30 years of service. But as we reported back in July, the writing has been on the wall for Tesco's US expansion.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 27, 2012 02:54 PM
ConAgra Foods has finally bagged its long-sought corporate prey, announcing today its agreement to acquire Ralcorp Holdings for about $5 billion.
The companies' union — which ConAgra CEO Gary Rodkin has been trying to consummate for 20 months — will create one of the largest packaged-food companies in North America, with total combined sales of about $18 billion.
But more important, it expands ConAgra's penetration in the growing private-label market at the same time that it offers more hope for retail growth by ConAgra brands — including Chef Boyardee, Hunt's, Healthy Choice, Orville Redenbacher's and Banquet — that, while well known, tend to be second- and third-tier marques. As ConAgra's FAQ on the deal notes,
The acquisition of Ralcorp will add to ConAgra Foods’ existing $950 million private label business to create the largest private label business in North America, with approximately $4.5 billion in combined private label sales, and a strong platform for sustainable, profitable growth over the long term. The two companies’ portfolios are a complementary fit, with very little overlap in terms of offerings. Ralcorp’s leading private label offerings include cereal, pasta, crackers, jellies and jams, syrups, frozen waffles, and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 2, 2012 11:17 AM
Makers of name brand products beware: Store brands continue to be accepted and embraced by consumers.
Last July, we reported on a study by Accenture indicating that 64 percent of shoppers' grocery carts were at least half full of store brand products -- and 39 percent said they had bought more store brands in recent years.
Now a new study by marketing agency The Integer Group, in association with the market research firm M/A/R/C Research, shows that consumers increasingly believe store brands can match brand names in quality. In fact, in the 2012 study, 64 percent of shoppers said brand names are not better quality products, versus 57 percent in 2010. Only 51 percent of shoppers say they continue to buy brand name products over store-brand alternatives because they trust the brand name, according to the study. Only 20 percent of shoppers agree that they go right for their brand name choice and get what they want.
Just as important, there seems to be a broad change in the perception of store brand or private label products. As store brands have grown in popularity, groceries and retail chains have created their own branded lines. Target, for example, sells its own Archer Farms brand, and Whole Foods pitches its 365 Everyday Value line.
In recent years, such retailers have paid more attention to packaging so their products can be competitive on store shelves. It must be paying off. Only a year ago, 68 percent of shoppers agreed that brand name packaging was more attractive than store brand packaging, according to the study. This year, the percentage dropped to just over half — 52 percent of shoppers.Continue reading...
no kidding around
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 25, 2012 02:38 PM
Toys R Us is really aiming for this holiday season to bring in some big bucks. As a result, the company is hiring 13% more seasonal help than it did last year, hiring 45,000 temporary employees across the U.S.
Why the need for all the extra folks? Well, the retailer is planning to have 50 more pop-up shops than it did last year across the country and it is, of course, very excited about the revenue possibilities for its new made-for-kids-tablet called Tabeo, a featured item on its 2012 Hot Toys List.
Of course, it remains to be seen if the store's proprietary $150 Tabeo is going to hit its stores, as planned, in October. Fuhu, the Taiwanese manufacturer of the kid-friendly Nabi tablet that Toys R Us sold before Tabeo, is attempting to block its sale with a lawsuit claiming intellectual property infringement.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 20, 2012 04:06 PM
Nobody wants to relive the days of folks getting trampled for Cabbage Patch Kids or engaging in fistfights for Tickle Me Elmo dolls. Perhaps to avoid such awfulness, which of course brings bad publicity for whatever retailer is involved, and to pick up a few bucks along the way, Toys R Us is letting consumers reserve specific toys before the holiday season — with a catch.
In addition to announcing its list of the 50 “hot toys” (which includes Hasbro's version 2.0-edition Furby, a $70 Laloopsy doll, One Direction dolls) that kids, apparently, are clamoring for this holiday season, the toys' prospective buyers will be informed when the product arrives. That way, nobody has to get trampled.
That’s not to say that Toys R Us isn’t going to do everything it can to get as many people into its doors during the crucial holiday shopping season as it can. Indeed, the Hot Toys RSVP checklist must be downloaded from the Toys R Us website and then printed as a PDF and delivered to a bricks and mortar Toys R Us store with a 20% deposit to hold the item for pick-up. The better to woo you with impulse purchases, my dear.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 18, 2012 05:11 PM
Private label products, also known as store brands, have never enjoyed so much popularity. Years ago, generic products were seen as inferior and dull, but today, economic conditions and a distinct improvement in product quality have given private labels a new desirability.
In the U.S., store brands are thriving. A recent study of 500 U.S. consumers conducted by the management consulting company Accenture shows that 64 percent of shoppers' grocery carts were at least half full of store brands — and 39 percent said they've bought more store brands in recent years.
That trend is not limited to the United States. A new report from IBISWorld, Australia's largest provider of industry-based research, notes that private labels will account for over 30 percent of supermarket sales in Australia by 2017-18.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 27, 2012 11:04 AM
General Mills and Kellogg have been ruling the cold-cereal market for an eternity. Those two behemoths now own about 60 percent of a $9 billion U.S. market, but that doesn’t mean other companies aren’t finding some success cutting into their market.
One in particular, the 93-year-old MOM Brands Co., which was recently renamed from Malt-O-Meal, is producing such cereals as Tootie Fruities and Honey Nut Scooters, which bear more than a passing resemblance to Froot Loops and Honey Nut Cheerios.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on June 14, 2012 03:57 PM
K-Cups are everywhere in the news now that Starbucks is rolling them out from coast to coast. Yet in the grocery aisle, those little "K-Cups" designed for single serving Keurig brewing machines are highlighting the battle between store brands (private labels) with name brand consumer packaged goods for shelf space.
Both Kroger and Safeway, two major U.S. grocery chains, are launching private label "coffee pods" for the Keurig machine. Safeway announced it will bring to market five types of Keurig-compatible filtered coffee pods. The chain already makes three store brand instant products for the machine.
The move by Safeway and Kroger caused shares of Green Mountain, the company that sells K-Cups along with Keurig brewing machines, to plummet. Since September, in fact, its stock has dropped 82 percent, according to Reuters. Two of the patents that cover the K-Cup design will expire in September 2012, which means other companies, not just Green Mountain, could manufacture Keurig-compatible cups.Continue reading...