Store brands from St. Nick

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Store brands from St. Nick

By Lawrence Aylward - 09/19/2018
Costco's Kirkwood Signature brand could flourish this holiday season.

Santa Claus is coming to town this year, just like he does every year. But this year St. Nick’s visit could be very, very big.

The economy is growing, the unemployment rate is down, wages are rising and consumers are confident. That all adds up to Santa flying a jumbo jet-sized sleigh this holiday season.

According to a recent CNN Money report, Americans are poised to splurge during the holidays. Retailers are hiring more holiday help this year than last year — if they can find it. Retail sales are forecast to increase at brick and mortar and online.

“We’re currently benefitting from a very strong consumer environment, perhaps the strongest I’ve seen in my career, Target CEO Brian Cornell said during a conference call with industry analysts and reporters last month.

If Americans plan to splurge, why not on private brands? Now is the time for consumer packaged goods retailers to strategize where their private brands fit in this scenario, whether they’re selling food, general merchandise or clothing. It’s a scenario that appears to be setting up indubitably well for store brands.

Store brands are in a “cool” state, meaning they are cool to purchase. Consumers are more open to purchasing store brands because they are gaining more trust in them. Consumers are realizing that store brands can offer a tremendous value — not just a cheap price, but a quality product at a good price. So why not purchase that Kirkland Signature triple-blade shaving set from Costco Wholesale for Uncle Ron? He’d love it.

Retailers have a fine opportunity to increase their private brand sales this holiday season. It’s up to them to find a spot for those products on Santa’s sleigh this year. For retailers’ marketing and merchandising elves, it’s time to get to work.

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