Today’s Group stakes its claims in the own-label market

In what it is billing as “the biggest launch by a wholesaler this year”, Today’s Group is launching two new own-labels for its members.

The launch consists of two own labels – Today’s Essentials and Today’s Select, and a new Blue Stone Spring water range. Essentials is a “price-fighting range” (comparable to Sainsburys’ Basics or the brands found in discounters such as Aldi and Lidl), while Select offers “the quality of big brands, but at much keener prices”.

A total of 40 products, split evenly between Select and Essentials and with four Blue Stone Spring lines, will be available to members and retailers in time for launch on October 14, with a further tranche of products to follow in January.

A Today’s spokesman told Wholesale News that more lines would be added progressively through 2013 with an anticipated maximum number of about 200 lines. He added that although Select and Essentials would each account for around half the products at the launch, it was planned that the higher margin Select products would eventually make up around 80% of the own-label lines, with Essentials providing around 20%.

Today’s Group managing director Bill Laird said the total number of lines in the ranges was deliberately smaller than other wholesalers’ own label ranges.

 “These are key lines to avoid the mistake that other wholesalers have made by trying to stock inappropriate variants of own labels that then don’t sell,” he said. The new ranges would be highlighted in-depot, in-store and via marketing materials for retailers in the Today’s symbol group and retail club, he said, but added he also expected the new ranges would appeal to “a much wider range of independent retailers”.

The majority of the Select products will be food items, with the initial range including biscuits, canned goods and soft drinks.
“Price-conscious consumers have become accustomed to buying own-label but they also expect these products to look as appealing as the big brands so we’ve focused on a bright, clean and modern style,” said Laird.

The majority of the Essentials range will be everyday products such as bleach, washing up liquid, bin bags and kitchen foil.

 “Today’s Essentials will give retailers the opportunity to offer their customers own label products at eye-catchingly low prices. It will provide them with a range that will successfully compete with other retailers’ ultra-cheap brands and will give their customers an additional reason to shop at their store,” continued Laird. “And unlike some other own-brands it does not look cheap and tacky. These are smart-looking products that customers will feel good about when they present them at the till.”

“Price-marking is now an accepted way of emphasising value for money for consumers so all the products will feature prominent price labels to highlight their value for money offer.”

Laird added that once the decision was made to go ahead with the launches, the Group had managed to turn it into reality in just 24 weeks.

He said: “Usually a project of this magnitude would take a year to complete, and to produce these ranges to such high standards in such a tight timescale is an exceptional achievement.”

A small number of items – such as toilet tissue – will be available in both the  Essentials and Select ranges in order to offer consumers the best choice of price and value.

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