Private label brands move beyond grocery

Store brands have traditionally proliferated when inflation or a recession spurs consumers to spend more conservatively. But as store brands become more premium and fill specific customer needs, price is no longer the only driving factor.

Consumers are moving beyond grocery when it comes to buying private label, and into other categories like home decor, apparel, and beauty. Retailers seeing this shift are introducing new product lines across customer segments, from Bed Bath & Beyond’s minimalist home decor line, Studio 3B, to JCPenney’s recently launched Mutual Weave, its first denim-focused menswear brand. Even Dollar General has released a skincare line extension under its Believe Beauty brand, touting the products as vegan and cruelty-free.

  • According to our survey, nearly 80% of respondents either had purchased or were willing to try private label products in apparel, pantry items, personal care, and household cleaning supplies.
  • Further, about one-third of respondents who had not yet purchased private label accessories, electronics, and footwear were open to doing so; for home furnishings, the figure was almost 46%. This signals consumers’ willingness to discover store-owned brands in a broader range of categories.
  • Surprisingly, respondents were least open to private label pet food and products (15.2%), suggesting that there’s room for more store brands in this category, but they need to showcase their products’ benefits and attributes effectively. It’s a space Walmart must be looking to fill with the launch of PRO+, its premium pet product line extension under the Pure Balance brand.
  • As more retailers launch private label apparel lines, the notion that consumers are only open to more basic SKUs is debunked in our survey research for our “US Apparel Retail Features Benchmark 2022” report. Among US apparel buyers we polled in December 2021, denim/jeans was the No. 1 category where they would buy private label (41.2%). Basics and replenishment items like underwear (36.6%), socks (31.5%), sleepwear (23.8%), and leggings (18.7%) didn’t rank as high.

Read the full report.