IADS Exclusive: Private Labels’ noteworthy initiatives to improve profitability

IADS Exclusive October 2023 Christine Montard

Improving Private Labels’ profitability is crucial to the department store business and is a top-of-mind priority for CEOs (this is why the 2022 Academy worked on this topic). Two major strong trends can be seen here:

-    Organisations (including the supply chain) have been reviewed and changed to be more cost-efficient as well as more agile. 
-    Secondly, whether they are under an umbrella brand or not, Private Label portfolios have been reshuffled, which often resulted in the discontinuation of some brands to maintain margins, but also in opportunistic ventures. 

Besides these 2 major sources of optimization, new questions are emerging lately. Improving branding and awareness is key to developing the business. The pricing strategy offers 2 different directions: the lower-price path, or a possible premiumization of Private Labels which is increasingly considered to grow margins. In addition, department stores and retailers sit on a data treasure as they know who’s buying what, where and how. With the emergence of the retail media business, it seems data could be leveraged to improve Private Labels’ efficiency and relevancy. However, some questions remain, and the Private Label digital strategy and the communication on CSR efforts are among the most important ones. 

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