Published in F&R Buyer Magazine
There’s good news and bad news on the private label front. The good news is total private label dollar sales jumped 3.1% to $117.97 billion across channels (excluding convenience stores) compared with a gain of just 2.0% (to $685.53 billion) for all brands, boosting store brand dollar share for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 29 0.2 points to 17.7%, according to Nielsen (see chart on page 32). The bad news is most of those gains were the result of price increases, not because consumers are buying more private brand merchandise. Unit sales were down 0.2%, but unit sales of all brands fell slightly further (-0.3%), keeping store brand unit share steady at 21.1% — a tenth of a percent off a high of 21.2% two years ago.