News

Many Americans believe private-label products are high quality

BY CSA STAFF

CHICAGO — It seems that private-label brands are getting a sterling reputation among shoppers.

According to new research by Mintel, consumers have taken notice of private-label companies’ "better-for-you" products and attractive packaging, as 44% of grocery shoppers believe store-brand products are of better quality today than they were five years ago. What’s more, 39% of respondents said they would recommend purchasing a store-brand product.

More than two-thirds of shoppers surveyed (62%) also affirmed that they aren’t skimming on flavor or prestige by purchasing private-label products.

"Private-label brands are overcoming the stigma once associated with ‘generic’ products," said Fiona O’Donnell, senior analyst at Mintel. "Even though the recession has ended, and consumers may be in a better position financially to return to name brands, it’s likely that many will continue to buy store brand staples that are of equal quality."

Mintel’s latest survey builds on several retailers’ emphasis on store-brand penetration in recent years, including such companies as CVS/pharmacy, Save-A-Lot and more. According to recent research by the Private Label Manufacturers of America, shoppers can save up to 30% on their grocery bill.

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FINANCE

Blockbuster wins another extension for filing Chapter 11 plan

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — After filing for Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy in September, then winning an extension until Feb. 4 to file its restructuring plan to emerge from bankruptcy, Blockbuster now has until March 21 to file the plan and until May 20 to round up enough votes among its creditors for approval.

Judge Burton R. Lifland of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan granted the extension Wednesday.

Blockbuster, which hopes to cut its debts in court to about $100 million from almost $1 billion, is also actively searching for a new CEO to lead a turnaround effort.

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REAL ESTATE

Tommy Bahama to open first NYC store in historic landmark building

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Real estate firm The Feil Organization announced Friday that Tommy Bahama has signed a groundbreaking lease for the opening of its first Manhattan store at 551 Fifth Avenue at 45th Street.

The Seattle-based chain signed a 12-year lease agreement and will occupy 8,500 sq. ft. on the ground, mezzanine and basement levels of the renowned art deco Fred F. French building that is owned and managed by The Feil Organization.

"We’re going to bring Tommy Bahama to New York City. We’re not going to bring New York City to Tommy Bahama,” said Terry Pillow, CEO of Tommy Bahama. He also said that he expects his new store, which he hopes to open by the end of the year, to draw crowds of New Yorkers and tourists by transplanting the company’s tropics-themed store design to Manhattan.

The space is currently occupied by apparel retailer New York Look. The new Tommy Bahama store joins recent opening of Urban Outfitters at Fifth Avenue and 43rd Street, and the new Guess store opening at 47th Street.

Erected in 1927, The Fred F. French building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and has been owned by The Feil Organization since 2001.

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