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PLMA reports jump in 2010 private-label sales

NEW YORK — Private-label sales across all three major retail channels reached new highs in 2010, according the Private Label Manufacturers Association.

According to PLMA's 2011 Private Label Yearbook, which tracks private-label sales and market share trends based on Nielsen Co. data for the year ended Dec. 25, 2010, found that when looking at total outlets — which is comprised of U.S. supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers, including Walmart — store-brand sales increased by nearly 2%, while dollar share advanced by almost half a point to a new record level. This brought total sales to $88.5 billion, according to the Nielsen data.

PLMA also said among these increases, private-label brand sales increased more than 2% and nearly 5% in supermarkets and drug store chains in 2010, respectively. Over the past decade, annual sales of private-label products have increased by 40% in supermarkets and by 96% in drug stores, PLMA said.

PLMA noted that while the numbers prove the growth of the private-label market, there is an estimated $15 to $20 billion in additional private-label sales that occur in channels not reported to the Nielsen databases, including warehouse clubs, limited-assortment stores, convenience stores and dollar stores. If these data were reported, the total sales likely would have produced a grand total exceeding $100 billion for 2010, PLMA said.

PLMA also noted growth was attributed to the recession, which forced consumers to alter their shopping habits, as well as "the extreme efforts by national brand marketers in 2010 to recapture some of the market share they lost to store brands over the previous years."

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