Store Brands

APR 2016

Store Brands delivers unprecedented strategic and tactical information needed by retail executives to develop and support compelling, differentiated store brand programs to build customer loyalty.

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Category Intelligence: Wet Wipes 8 0 Store Brands / April 2016 / free of chlorine, formaldehyde and phosphates; and boast packages made from renewable or recyclable resources or materials. "People are more health-conscious and want products that are less harmful to themselves and the environment," says a spokesperson for U.S. Nonwovens Corp., a Commack, N.Y.-based supplier of wipes for the personal and home care sectors. Other potentially active segments include elderly persons who are seeking to treat adult incontinence and prevent infections, and the many millennials who want affordable and quick cleaning solutions. "Millennials have grown up as the 'convenience' generation, and convenience is their primary way of life," states William Lutz, vice president of sales and marketing for Premier Care Industries Inc., a Hauppauge, N.Y.-based wet wipes manufacturer. A large playing field Indeed, unlike many other cleaning products, wet wipes can attract buyers from a wide range of categories, notes Patricia Raggi, vice president of marketing services for Nice-Pak Products Inc., an Orangeburg, N.Y.-based supplier of wipes for household and personal use. "There is almost limitless growth potential as consumers can use the products at home, work, on the go and for babies through adults," she states. "People are looking to do things quicker, and wet wipes are a one-step solution in comparison to using a pump bottle spray and dry paper towel for cleaning," To draw greater attention to private label selections, Raggi says retailers should offer in- store samplings; situate items in relevant sections throughout the store to generate impulse purchases; and include product-specific wet wipe coupons or samples packaged with complementary products. Baby wipe boxes, for instance, could contain literature or coupons for facial or floor wipes. Packaging also can be a key vehicle for conveying product attributes such as softness, durability, efficiency and non-irritating ingredients. It is important, however, that retailers just feature the most important messages on boxes to avoid clutter. "The major challenge is to convey to consumers that the store brands are of as high quality as the national brands," Raggi says. To best spotlight their private label selections, retailers should merchandise the items in eye-catching packaging that is attractive enough to be kept on kitchen and bathroom counters or makeup vanities, the U.S. Nonwovens spokesperson says. Retailers should also make it simple for shoppers to compare products by situating store brands alongside national brands on shelves, while using signage to call out the unique private label features, the spokesperson states. Pricing that is equivalent to or better than the national brands also will make the products more attractive, he adds. Keep suppliers in the loop Suppliers also can be an important source of merchandising acumen — provided retailers are receptive to input. "Most suppliers would look forward to working closely with retailers in growing their respective categories," Lutz states. "But the retailers need to open themselves up to new innovative concepts and ideas and be willing to share what they are attempting to achieve strategically." Such interaction will enable retailers to tailor programs to the specific needs of their shopper bases. The aim is to produce products that have the optimal packaging, formulations, SKU counts and pricing, Raggi notes. "The most successful programs are the result of joint efforts by suppliers and retailers with a goal of providing an innovative and well-rounded product portfolio," she states. "To grow profits, the parties need to examine the totality of the category, analyze the role of the national and store brands and offer private label selections that generate loyalty and make the store a destination for wet wipes." The rate of category growth, meanwhile, will be dependent on the level of product innovation, as well as the ability of retailers and suppliers to meet the growing consumer demand for environmentally sustainable products, Raggi says. Eventually, however, there will be a wider range of diverse and functional selections, the U.S. Nonwovens spokesperson states. "As companies continue to develop niche wet wipes, there will soon be one for every use and every consumer," the spokesperson adds. SB Do call out positive wet wipe attributes on pack, but don't overdo it. Don't miss the chance to partner with suppliers in the name of wet wipe innovation.

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