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MyPrivateBrand writes that "in a surprise move that demonstrates an increasing emphasis on Private Brands, Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has begun what appears to be a test of a new extreme valuebasic brand. Price First is featured in a 2-page flyer introducing the brand and it’s stark blue and yellow neo-generic packaging with the headline, 'Choose our lowest-priced brand for all your grocery staples. Look for it in your store today.' The products appear to be moving from existing unbranded or control brand SKUs … if successful, the new brand will dramatically expand the Walmart Private Brand portfolio. With its addition, Walmart will create a very traditional three-tier private label architecture similar to the strategy implemented by most mainstream grocers in the 1980’s."

The story says that the new line appears to be in beta rollout in at least eight markets around the country.

If you want to see what Walmart is testing, click here.
KC's View:
Walmart clearly is making a calculated bet here, hoping to make a distinct differentiation between its Great Value and Price First labels, and believing that there is a customer out there who wants a stripped down generic label. Maybe that's because Walmart no longer is perceived as being the price leader it used to be, and so it had to do something dramatic.

It's true that there is a difference between low prices and value. And it is true that there is room out there for "retro" as a marketing approach.

But these labels, which look they fell off a truck that has been lost in the Twilight Zone for three or four decades, strike me as being potentially confusing to shoppers, in part because they reek of a desperation that Walmart has lost some of its its competitive advantage.