Retailers Pushing Back On Rising Prices

Consumers aren't the only ones complaining about high prices, and this provides another growth opportunity for private label.
Greg Sleter
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
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Greg Sleter, Associate Publisher/Executive Editor, Store Brands
Greg Sleter, Executive Editor/Associate Publisher, Store Brands

Apparently, consumers are not alone in their tiring of high prices in the aisles and on the web pages of their favorite stores.

So, too, are the retailers. And this is another opportunity for the private label industry to step up and provide consumers with quality products at prices that are much more palatable.

At the end of January, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market is asking its suppliers to help it bring down the cost of groceries as inflation moderates. The request was made at Whole Foods’ virtual supplier summit.

In recent weeks, we’ve been hearing whispers of retailers pressuring vendors to control costs and perhaps roll back price hikes that were commonplace throughout 2022. Now, reading in black and white that one of the nation’s high-profile grocers is indeed putting its supplier community on notice is further proof.

In the Journal article, there was much discussion about the tactics Whole Foods could utilize this year to help consumers save money each time they shop. Promotions will be the focus with the grocer aiming to add frequency of its sale events. But expanding private label assortments should be another. 

One has to wonder, if national brand product suppliers push back on these price reduction requests, will retailers such as Whole Foods and others turn to their internal product development teams and expand their store brand selections?

It’s no secret that Kroger, for example, has been aggressively expanding its private label selection. Discussions with leading retailers at the FMI Midwinter Conference in Orlando revealed that several others are focused on not only expanding private label assortments, but also spending more resources on marketing their store brands to consumers.

Competition is healthy. And the continued efforts of retailers to boost store brand assortments to compete with national brands will not only be good for them and likely boost store traffic, but also be good for the wallets of their loyal shoppers.

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