Private label describes products manufactured for sale under a specific retailer‘s brand. They are often designed to compete against branded products, offering customers a cheaper alternative to national brands. Though the public generally used to see them as low-cost imitations of branded products, private labels have overcome this reputation and achieved significant growth in recent years. The most commonly known private label goods are the “store brands” sold by food retailers, though this is just one example of many. Department stores, electronics stores, and office supply retailers all offer private label products or services.
Private labels offer several benefits to both retailers and customers, driving the segment's rising popularity. For retailers, margins on private label goods are an average of 10% higher than those on similar branded products. Customers benefit from private labels' lower prices, which are often significantly less than those of national brands. This combination, while beneficial to retailers and consumers, can put substantial pressure on the manufacturers of branded goods, who have to compete against their own customers (the retailers) for market share.