• Anne Heaney, Director

The Retail Apocalypse is fueled by No Name Clothes

The erosion of brand loyalty has been a boon for cheap-chic retailers, leveraging partnerships with top designers to create their own private labels in recent years. For example, Targets kids’ apparel line, Cat & Jack sales surpassed $2 billion after a little more than a year on the shelves.

Target’s winning formula has emboldened others with Amazon, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, and other big retailers beefing up their clothing lines to grab shoppers whose loyalty to established brands has waned. Even supermarket chain Kroger Co. is getting in on the act, attracted by profit margins that far exceed what they earn on bananas and paper towels.

“Every new generation is becoming less and less brand-loyal,” consultants Bain & Co say. “Millennials don’t care as much about logos. They will buy anything from anywhere at any price point, and that is a big change.”

Apparel shopping these days often begins with an online search, and research finds that a surprising number of those queries don’t mention a brand at all—consumers just enter “yoga pants” and see what comes up.

At Buying Intelligence, we don't expect private labels to become fashion houses, however they can create enough newness that can capture sales. They don’t need to inspire, they just need to satisfy a need.

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