Among the key findings offered by the PLMA 2010 Roundtable panel:
Private label suppliers and retailers need to get on the same page with respect to their partnerships. Retailers are still reluctant to forge long term commitments with suppliers who are tired of bidding out a contract only to see it soon disappear. Retailers should be willing to share the cost of innovation with suppliers and even with non-competing chains.
Transparency on both sides must be the new mantra for the private label supplier-retailer relationship. Suppliers would do well to let retailers behind the curtain more with respect to their operations. Retailers need to appreciate that they are not only buying quality goods but also intellectual horsepower.
Private label brands should ask chains for more innovation in marketing and a fairer share of activity in merchandising dollars. Chains’ sharing of data with suppliers is also essential to private label growth.
Store brand suppliers will be required to make many hard decisions. They should learn to say, “Thank you, but no,” to certain would-be clients and to scorecard all potential customers to determine a right-size fit.