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Report: Amazon brands primed to take on CPG leaders

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon’s private-label lines are giving large, well-established brands a run for their money.

The online giant’s private label portfolio is nearing 80 unique labels, up from 40 in 2017, according to a study from One Click Retail. While the offering is at an all-time high, five brands — Mama Bear, Basic Care, Presto, Solimo and Wag — are primed to make a significant impact on the market and compete with consumer product goods (CPG) brands.

According to the “Amz Q2 Update: Private Brands” report, AmazonBasics and other early brands were aimed at dominating niche categories, such as batteries, lightning cables and pet carriers. The online giant’s latest push however, is entering categories with large, well- established brands. One of Amazon’s newest endeavors, for example, is Basic Care, which features an assortment of over-the-counter (OTC) products.

Another contender is Presto. When it launched in November 2016, it featured laundry and dish detergents. Amazon expanded the offering a year later with hand soap, all-purpose cleaner, paper towels, and toilet paper.

Another new Amazon brand is Wag Dry Dog Food, which launched in May. The brand comes in five flavors, each of which was originally available in two bag sizes. The top sellers are all the 30 lb. bags, which is consistent with other leading dog food brands on Amazon.

While Wag has not yet launched a kick-start promotion to drive growth, Amazon may start putting more effort into this brand during Q3. “Only then will we know if Wag poses a significant threat in the dog food space,” the study said.

“Amazon already has the loyalty of over 100 million Prime members, and its growing range of private-label products is both benefiting from the loyalty of these consumers and, in turn, driving more loyalty with the success of leading brands, such as AmazonBasics,” said Ojastro Todd, marketing analyst, One Click Retail.

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EnsembleIQ acquires media brands from Lebhar-Friedman
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EnsembleIQ acquires media brands from Lebhar-Friedman

BY CSA Staff

EnsembleIQ announced Thursday that it has purchased substantially all of the media, digital and event assets from New York City-based Lebhar-Friedman. Launched in 1925, the third-generation family business produces several leading retail brands, including Drug Store News, Chain Store Age, and Hardware and Building Supply Dealer.

The transaction also includes Chain Store Age’s SPECS and X/SPECS, two strategic events focused on physical retail that bring together the nation’s top retailers and suppliers to learn, share ideas, develop business partnerships and solve problems.

The Lebhar-Friedman brands will operate under the EnsembleIQ umbrella, and will continue to be led by senior VP John Kenlon and his management team including Gary Esposito, Eric Savitch and Seth Mendelson. President and CEO, Randall Friedman will serve in an advisory role during the transition, and chairman Roger Friedman will devote his time to new ventures.

“We’re thrilled to have these iconic brands and talented employees join the EnsembleIQ family,” said David Shanker, CEO of EnsembleIQ. “Adding chain drug, hardware and store operations reach and expertise provides our collective subscribers and customers with a comprehensive view of retail insights and information throughout the United States and Canada.”

“The company that my grandfather Arnold founded and my father Roger ran for many years has always been focused on the retail industry,” said Randall Friedman. “The fact that EIQ also has great brands and deep expertise in retail makes me very optimistic that the LF roots will continue to grow and bear fruit in the years to come under EIQ’s stewardship.”

EnsembleIQ is a premier business intelligence resource that exists   to help people and their organizations succeed. It is structured to serve the business-to-business needs of retailers, consumer goods manufacturers, technology providers, hospitality and healthcare professionals, marketing agencies and retail service providers by using its integrated network of media and information resources designed to inform, connect and provide actionable marketplace intelligence.

EnsembleIQ is a portfolio company of RFE Investment Partners, a private equity investor with more than 30 years of experience investing in growth companies in partnership with strong management teams. Information on RFE can be found at http://rfeip.com/.

Berkery Noyes served as the exclusive financial advisor to Lebhar-Friedman.

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The most beloved brands are…

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Eight retailers ranked among the top 100 most loved global brands, but only three cracked the top 10.

Amazon, Apple and Disney are the only three retailers that ranked among the 10 most loved global brands, according to the fourth annual “NetBase Brand Passion Report: Top 100 Global Brand Love List.” The study is based on brand conversations across the social web, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and millions of other sources between May 2017 and May 2018. Brands evaluated include social media, technology, consumer goods, automotive, food and beverage and telecommunications.

According to data, Amazon claimed the No. 4 spot, followed by Apple (sixth) and Disney (seventh). Drilling down further, Apple also ranked as the most popular technology brand, along with Google (5).

Target (17) and Ikea (46) were named the most popular retail brands. Louis Vuitton (33) and Nikon were recognized as the most popular consumer goods brands.

McDonald’s (18) and Starbucks (20) took the honor of top food and beverage brands. McDonald’s only narrowly beat Starbucks as the most loved food and beverage brand, accounting for 22% of all mentions for food and beverage brands. Fries and all-day breakfast are among the most discussed items.

While Burger King trailed its competitors at No. 59, the brand did move up 28 spots from 2017. This movement earned the company a place among the five companies that showed the greatest change, according to the study.

“Brands that know how their customers feel can cultivate strong relationships to set a foundation for future brand growth. This insight is invaluable as the more passion for the brand, the less the consumer relies on price as the deciding factor,” they study revealed.

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