Bamboo Rose Blog | Retail Co-creation

The rise of private label and how to strike a balance

For decades, whether they were purchasing clothing, food or furniture, shoppers saw private label brands as inferior to name brands. That notion is changing, and fast; in fact, one could argue that in many cases, private label and name brands are already on par with one another. Last year, Wegmans earned its repeat top spot on the best grocery stores list in part by carrying and pushing an extensive line of gourmet private label products. In 2016, Target launched a private label furniture line; in 2018, the company rolled out a new line of women’s apparel, Universal Thread, that will offer low-cost alternatives to its current brands.


No longer the red-headed stepchild of the retail world, private label plays an important role in retail strategy, particularly for department stores. Once able to draw people in by carrying nationally recognized brands alongside the basic necessities like socks and pillows, stores like J.C. Penney, Macy’s and Sears have learned the hard way that customer expectations have shifted. E-commerce has given shoppers the ability to buy both basics and national brands anytime, anywhere.  The differentiator that makes a shopper choose Macy’s over Amazon has to be its private line.


It makes sense: If you fall in love with a department store’s proprietary, private label dinnerware pattern, you’ll come back to that store every time you need to buy another place setting or accessory. And while you’re there, chances are high that you’ll also use that trip to pick up your basic necessities – maybe you’ll even grab that pair of Steve Maddens that catches your eye, because picking it up then and there is even more convenient than overnight shipping.


The bottom line is that private label is no longer a secondary consideration; finding, designing, sourcing, buying and selling private label has to be built into a company’s strategy. Luckily, you don’t have to juggle the two alone; Bamboo Rose offers support to companies striving to find the right balance between private label and national branded goods.


– Discovering: The Bamboo Rose B2B Marketplace connects retailers with suppliers, and lets them share inspiration and shop virtual showrooms collaboratively, leading to improved private label designs and offerings.

– Designing: Bamboo Rose’s retail PLM helps retailers design, develop, and test merchandise while reducing cycle times.

– Sourcing: Private label needs to boast a similar quality as national brands, and Bamboo Rose’s digital sourcing gives retailers access to suppliers all over the globe.

– Buying: Order management from Bamboo Rose makes it easy to centralize the purchase order process, allowing retailers to easily balance between private and national brands.

– Selling: Getting private label items to market has never been easier. Bamboo Rose’s global trade management (GTM) platform combines trade regulations, logistics, finance, and compliance information to help retailers mitigate risk.


Private label is more important for retailers now than ever before, but the process of balancing it with national brands can be simple.

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