Consumers have more choices than ever, including whether to shop online for their merchandise or continue to visit the brick and mortar stores they have been going to for decades.
Retailers need to take every step possible to continue to convince shoppers that their traditional shopping habits do not need to change and that they should continue to visit their favorite retailers for all of their regular needs.
No category plays as important a role in this as the private brands market. With consumers having more choices, retailers need to emphasize their unique products to keep shoppers loyal.
Private brands sales have increased dramatically over the last decade as more consumers see the benefits of the products and more retailers see the category as an opportunity to make more money while satisfying shopper needs. Some major suppliers, in turn, have put a larger emphasis on producing quality merchandise in the category, creating even more consumer demand.
Nowhere is that more important than the booming pet category, where sales are increasing at double-digit rates, but much of that business is making its way to the online world.
Officials at Alphia, a Denver-based supplier of private brand pet products, want to help traditional retailers retain and even get back sales that went online. The company goes to great lengths to offer its retailer partners the opportunity to give their shoppers a full line of quality products that cannot be found elsewhere and at affordable price points. The results, according to company officials, should give merchants the chance to hold on to existing customers and attract new ones.
“Our entire philosophy is data and insights driven,” said Heather Govea, chief commercial officer for the company. “We are about category leadership. How do we create the products that will drive sales and will allow our retail partners the chance to enjoy the fruits of their labor.”
Created about a year ago by the merger of CJ’s Foods and American Nutrition, Alphia offers its retail partners more than 3,200 SKUs in the dry and wet dog and cat categories as well as in baked treats. The company has nine manufacturing locations and three ingredient facilities.
“I think an important part of what we do is our full-scale research and development operations,” Govea said. “There we focus on developing not only new products, but high-quality merchandise that also allows us to focus on any food safety concerns. It is very important for us to stay ahead of any issues in this industry.
“Our goal is to help position retailers so that they can exceed their goals with quality and safe products.”