This week, a story from the food retailing world got our attention.

While reading about why Trader Joe’s thrives compared to competitors, a statistic jumped of the page for us.

Eighty percent (80% !!!) of Trader Joe’s products are private label!!!

Their store brand acts like a magnet, pulling people into their stores. It must be a pretty special brand.

Are there lessons for your apparel, accessories, or glove business?  Hmmm …

Keep reading. Actually, there’s an important lesson for all of us, regardless of apparel category.

moreGreat Merchandising Makes the Difference

Trader Joe’s has a smart strategy for beating the competition. Let’s look at what they do:

 1. Give consumers a good deal

Consumers say Trader Joe’s store brand is high-quality but inexpensive … a winning combination for customer loyalty and traffic.

Take TJ’s greek yogurt. The quality is good. They offer flavors that you can’t get anywhere else. And their price for 8 oz is the same as 6 oz. for the national brand.

Consumers know a good deal when they see it … and with a well-managed private brand has the margins to do just that.

 2. Deliver on product innovation

There’s no reason for a store brand to be basic. If you have ever shopped at Trader Joe’s, you’ve come to expect a cornucopia of unique flavors. They’ve created a a uniquely valuable brand  — offering Innovation + value — that people are passionate about.

None of this creativity would matter if their clientele wasn’t into culinary experientation … but they are, and it does.

3. Know your customers

As we just mentioned, TJ’s appeals to a value-consciuos foodie. Someone who likes food to be a good deal, and never boring. Their unique combination of value and innovation moves the needle for that shopper.

Do you target Millennials? Techies? Boomers? Hard core sports enthusiasts? Each of these shoppers comes to your store looking for something different. 

Instead of trying to be all things to everyone, have one customer — YOUR customer — in mind.

Read the article: How Trader Joe’s Sells Twice As Much As Whole Foods

Takeaway for Apparel Buyers: Differentiate!

In a world where there are fewer reasons to shop in a bricks and mortar store, here’s the best one: be unique.

As buyer or product executive, you know your customer best. Can you come up with privately branded  merchandise that will uniquely appeal to him or her?  What trends or product features do they most care about?

Your consumer can get me-too product everywhere. Commodities abound in every business, including retailing. GIve shoppers a strong reason to come to you.

To stand out, differentiate. 

Free Resources for Product Development and Merchandising

So what do YOU think? Are there paralells from this grocery retailer to your privite brands business? Leave a comment, let us know what you think.

AND … If you’re kicking off a new line, or merchandising a new season, check out our product planning success kit.

It gives you a great starting point for glove development: product design brief, glove planning checklist, and helpful tips to get everyone on the same page.


What Makes Olympia Gloves Different?

Your company could manufacture gloves lots of places. Why come to Olympia? 

In an impersonal, big-company, “cloud technology” world, it’s still reassuring to be on a first name basis with the “master glovers” behind the gloves. A glove company with a human side:) 

Roger, Ed and Peter have over 90 years in the glove business; we roll up our sleeves for you, and make your life simpler and easier.

Remember that long to do list on your desk?  Now, you can turn your attention to the other 287 items that need your attention. Cross “develop glove line” off of it — we’re on it.

Get in touch for a glove consultation — we’ll take the time to listen, and offer a tailored solution for your business.