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The development of store brands and the store as a brand in supermarkets in the Netherlands

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The price war between supermarkets in the Netherlands, which was launched in October 2003 by Albert Heijn, has strongly influenced the position and development of store brands and store formulas. Based on international research, we can conclude that the store brand is used increasingly frequently as an instrument for store formula positioning. This has resulted in a growing relevance of the market share of the store brands. When the distance between store brands and manufacturer brands gets smaller with regard to quality, perceived value and confidence, price ultimately becomes the only clearly distinguishing characteristic. In that situation, retailers have the opportunity to use store brands in the process of 'branding' the store formula. If retailers then proceed to combat each other with a strong focus on price promotions for both manufacturer brands and store brands, store loyalty is undermined and store duplication is stimulated. The price war that was initiated by Albert Heijn gave rise to such a situation. This article puts the Dutch developments in an international context.
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Keywords: price war; private label; retail branding; retail distribution

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Gfk Panel Services Benelux bv, Dongen, The Netherlands 2: Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Publication date: 2009-02-01

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