Supervalu puts emphasis on private label with Essential Everyday rollout

Program will unite all existing banners' private-label brands

CHICAGO — The private-label trend at retail continues to gain steam as Supervalu CEO Craig Herkert shared plans last month at the company's annual shareholders meeting to expand Supervalu's private-label program now through February 2012.

In discussing its private-brands program, Herkert said that the company expects to deliver a 100-basis point annual improvement in private-brand sales per year over the next three years. As part of its plans, the company announced that it intends to move to a new single national brand-equivalent private brand — Essential Everyday — to replace existing banner-branded products.

With the introduction of the Essential Everyday brand, which will roll out in phases, the company expects to realize savings through packaging and taking a more national approach to advertising and promotions.

Supervalu also plans to expand its Shoppers Value entry price-point private-brand line and will be launching or relaunching 80 new items in the coming months.

Sam Mayberry, VP private brands for Supervalu, told the Chicago Tribune that 94% of the company's shoppers buy private-label items sometimes, while 20% always do. Regular purchasers, he said, "rely on private brands to make ends meet."

One of Supervalu's long-term goals is the national expansion of its Save-A-Lot banner, and during the shareholder meeting, the company also announced the addition of the Save-A-Lot Today brand to its private-label program. The new Save-A-Lot Today brand is an opening price-point line with most products priced under $1.

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