Store Brands

NOV 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: General Merchandise 1 4 4 Store Brands / November 2016 / Boost the odds for success Retailers that stay on trend within their store brand general merchandise will satisfy current shoppers and attract new ones. By Bryan Salvage eneral merchandise products have much going for them. Many are "must have" items used daily by millions of Americans. Vast ranges of products — including batteries, socks and candles on up to large-ticket items such as computers, in various quality options, sizes and counts — satisfy just about any consumer demand. Odds are retailers that are currently successful on the store brand side of general merchandise intimately know their markets and customers. They carry products people want and promote them regularly, stay aware of existing and emerging trends driving general merchandise sales, and offer many more items than sold in- store through an omnichannel strategy. Hot products, trends Offering store brand products within the top-10- selling general merchandise categories in the United States is a smart move for retailers. Best sellers in 2015, based on sales through food, drug and mass-merchandise outlets, include (in descending order) batteries, kitchen storage items, socks, baby feeding/care/safety/trays, cleaning tools/mops/ brooms, culinary items, motor oil, light bulbs, hair accessories and office products, reveals New York-based Statistica Inc., an Internet statistics company. U.S. household battery sales totaled $4.5 billion in 2015, up almost 2.5 percent over 2014's sales of $4.1 billion, according to "Household Batteries: Consumer Market Trends in the U.S.," a June report from Packaged Facts, a division of Rockville, Md.-based The company forecasts that sales will reach $5.2 billion by 2020. The most common products are AAA, AA, C, D and 9-volt, Packaged Facts reports. Approximately 85 percent of all disposable batteries sold are AA or AAA. Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries will experience the greatest sales increase in the future, at a compound annual growth rate of almost 12 percent, and will surpass alkaline disposable batteries as the largest segment of the overall household batteries category, the firm predicts. "Major national battery brands, including Duracell, Energizer and Rayovac, are shifting to high-performance, high-quality and longer shelf-life products," says Kei Taniguchi, sales manager, retail battery/sales division, for Richardson, Texas-based FDK America Inc. — a Fujitsu Group company. "Private label players must also follow these trends. Regarding store brand consumer batteries, affordability plays a significant role when consumers make their purchasing decisions." And last year, total U.S. sock sales hit $2.1 billion, while private brand sock sales hovered just under $740 million, Statistica reveals. Socks have evolved in recent years from commodity products to "fashion statements," claims the NPD Group, Port Washington, N.Y., in a late 2014 publication. Retailers are able to offer store brand dress socks, athletic socks, novelty socks and even socks featuring antimicrobial properties. Men buy more socks than women; athletic socks are women's top choice in foot/leg apparel, the NPD publication states, while men prefer both casual and athletic socks. "Transforming a traditional item into a trendy fashion piece is the movement that has penetrated Do look to the top-selling general merchandise categories for the best own-brand opportunities. Don't ignore new trends impacting general merchandise categories.

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