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*** Eric's Comments on Private Labels

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Soapy Bubbles   Thursday, 04/10/08 10:35:58 AM
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*** Eric's Comments on Private Labels

(He is responding to the article at the bottom of the post)

No - private label is not our plan, because it causes all the brand value to accrue to the retailer. Also, the vendor agreement for Wal-Mart and similar organizations normally specify that the retailer owns formulations for their private label products. This is to exercise control and to protect themselves from problems if the primary production source is terminated, voluntarily or involuntarily. The parties that are more affected by this specific development are Clorox and Simple Green amongst others, because they are positioning their products with the word “green” in the name – and the Wal-Mart positioning is similar to those.

Winning Brands has deliberately avoided using the word “green” in the product names of its brands because it is limiting. The time will come soon enough that there will be green this, and green that, and consumers will be seeing so much green-naming that the practice loses its distinction completely. It’s as if they will all merge into the public’s mind as one great big heap of green variants. This issue was a key discussion point during our strategic development.

Our products are being positioned as mainstream brands, not special interest brands, but happen to be eco-responsible. This gives us more flexibility in merchandising approaches. We will be developing brand “personality” that is not so heavily anchored in green that the product is literally named “green”. Some green sensibilities of course, but not as the sole identity. Consumers tire of identities that come in waves because they are trends. The last was Oxy. Before that it was Orange. Now it is Green. Wal-Mart wants to ensure that a full range of consumers will find satisfaction in their stores. Therefore the addition of a private label brand will complement the full range of offerings to consumers, which will continue to offer brands perceived as mainstream.

Environmental qualities are not the only characteristic of interest to consumers. Performance, value, ease of use, fun, etc are additional factors in the equation. We are taking a long term view to our relevance in the marketplace. By continuing to offer mainstream brands, Wal-Mart is too.

Eric Lehner, CEO
Winning Brands Corporation

MISSISSAUGA, ON, April 1 /CNW/ - Wal-Mart Canada is taking green cleaning
mainstream with the launch of the GreenLine, the company's first private-label
brand of environmentally preferable household cleaning products. Canadians
across the country now have access to effective and affordable environmentally
preferable cleaning products at Wal-Mart Canada's 299 stores nationwide.
"We're giving customers convenient and affordable ways to green their
homes so that they don't have to make trade-offs," said Sylvain Prud'homme,
senior vice president of merchandising for Wal-Mart Canada. "We believe
customers shouldn't have to choose between products they can afford and
products that are better for the environment. Making quality and effective
green products more accessible and affordable is just one of the ways Wal-Mart
Canada is helping people save money so they can live better."
The GreenLine includes six products: an all-purpose cleaner, glass
cleaner, bathroom cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, concentrated liquid laundry
detergent and fabric softener. Each product is biodegradable, phosphate-free
and contains no dyes or artificial fragrances. Prices range from $2.78 to
$7.43. Certified by Environmental Choice's EcoLogo program, a leading North
American standard, the products have been independently certified to be safe
and environmentally preferable.
"Many Canadians haven't adopted green cleaning because they don't trust
that the products are really better for the environment or they're leery of
their effectiveness," added Prud'homme. "The GreenLine is not only certified
to be environmentally preferable, but it works."
The GreenLine was developed by two young Canadian entrepreneurs, David
Stone and Jeremy Quinn, the owners of Oxi Brite, a small household cleaning
products company with a deep commitment to the environment and making products
greener and more effective.
In the cleaning category, Wal-Mart carries a range of environmentally
preferable products including phosphate-free dish soap and dishwasher
detergent, reusable cleaning cloths, biodegradable garbage bags and recycled
paper towels. The company carries over 240 environmentally preferable products
across categories like food and clothing and is working with existing and new
suppliers to carry an increasing number of products in its stores. For more
information on Wal-Mart Canada's environmental sustainability efforts, please

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