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06/30/2021

Store brand swag continues

AldiUK is readying a launch of branded footwear July 4, joining retailers like Lidl, Costco and Kum & Go to have recently launched themed, branded apparel.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Last July, I wrote a blog questioning whether retailers could truly stretch their loyalty with shoppers into branded fashion, and it appears in Europe at least, there’s some real possibility around the idea.

The blog focused on a pair of Lidl-colored and branded tennis shoes in its Finland stores, which were hot items being flipped for more online. Some shoes are still listed for as much as $9,000. Lidl in Europe added more shoes this year, including slides, and this year Aldi UK introduced its line of trendy apparel dubbed Aldimania.

a close up of a pair of blue shoes

The Aldi UK hoodies, pajamas, socks and underwear were backed by marketing such as a billboard in Leicester Square in London. The retailer followed the rules of the game by only offering the clothing online for a limited time in April to introduce the items. 

Aldi UK’s latest drop within the collection includes some footwear sliders and trainers being released July 4. They can be pre-orderd online.

Aldi UK has been promoting a celebrity, Tommy Fury, wearing the items in social posts to drum up interest in getting the limited-time shoes. Fury was used earlier around the Aldimania hoodie promoted in April. He has more than 3.5 million followers on Instagram.

The footwear is very affordable, as are the clothing, and, more importantly, they are actually pretty hip looking.

a man standing in a kitchen
Tommy Fury

In the U.S., retailers have flirted with this store brand swag strategy, too. Costco released a Kirkland Signature sweatshirt that I’ve actually seen a young person wearing in person and he was shopping in a Meijer store, which is neither here nor there. As my original blog noted, there are crossovers that have occurred with 7-Eleven and Nike developing branded footwear. And, per a story in the Des Moines Register, Kum & Go released limited-edition, online-only branded sneakers in partnership with Philadelphia-based shoemaker Garrixon.

Whether it fully takes hold as a trend, retailers are continuing to build loyalty with younger shoppers through the branded apparel launches. They also seem to be another sign of retailers taking apparel more seriously in general, such as Walmart’s Free Assembly launch and teaming with fashion designer Brandon Maxwell.

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