US: Retailers turn to exclusive brands

Lima reports show consumers turning to private label and house brands in search of better value.
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Historically, the American public has viewed house brands as less desirable versions of nationally marketed and advertised brands.

Increasingly, however, those house brands are the result of retailers directly licensing the names of brands and celebrities to bring the sheen of an independent brand into the house brand game.

Examples of this include Wal-Mart’s exclusive rights to merchandise apparel under the Starter and Danskin Now brands; Kmart’s exclusive licence to use the Cannon brand of homewares; Kohl’s licences for Fila Sport, Vera Wang’s Simply Vera and the Food Network brand and its participation in the Abbey Dawn line by Avril Lavigne.

Marty Brochstein, senior VP of industry relations and information for Lima said: “The amount of direct-to-retail licensed merchandise that’s now in stores or planned for the near future suggest that this form of branding/licensing has become an accepted part of the retail landscape.

“Today’s retailers are not just retailers any more. Most major chains have in-house product development operations that work with the brand owners to create merchandise that holds to the brand image and can’t be found in any other store.”



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