Always right, sometimes early! Check out the new must-have . . . The grocery bag is de rigueur at retail . . .
We've been harping on how food has quietly become THE hot category for retailers from dollar to drug; now Walgreen is the latest to make much ado about food. "Time-starved" shoppers, yada yada . . . Make no mistake, this is about two things: 1. Driving frequency. I mean, how could WALMART get more average visits per week in those football-field-sized stores? Food is the killer app. And of course, 2. Peddling private label. Walgreen is talking to the big food brands . . . about how they can execute private label pizzas and other yummy take-aways. Why give up margin? Especially when, just as it seemed that everyone was going too far with private label, Walmart and Target went farther this year by completely overhauling two mega private label programs? Paper or plastic, everyone's rockin' the rations.
Peeling the onion . . . Retailers no longer feel the need to over-explain their forays away from the core . . . And they aren't claiming to have, or require, deep expertise in stretch categories . . . they know plenty about what really matters: controlling their ever-expanding definition of "brand."