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Competitive advantage, private-label brands, and category profitability

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of private-label resources possessed by a supermarket retailer. Our study examines whether or not private-label products can help in the overall enhancement of product category performance. We examine the performance of a supermarket retailer in the Northeast United States that operates over 100 stores and generates a total yearly sales volume in excess of $3 billion. Data of this nature is difficult to obtain for research purposes, and this proved to be very valuable. Data obtained from the internal financial database of the supermarket was used and generated from point-of-sale information. We then developed a research model from the literature review and used structural equation modelling to analyse the data. The findings of this study indicate that a change in category private-label sales penetration and category market share had little impact on category profitability. The major implication for retailers is the necessity for category managers to focus on all brands within their respective categories and not over-emphasise a private-label brand focus.

Keywords: category management; national brands; private-label brands; resource-based view

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Siena College, New York, USA 2: Nova Southeastern University, Florida, USA and Wits Business School, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa 3: Susquehanna University, Pennsylvania, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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