Do you wander around the aisles of your local supermarket or drugstore in a zombie-like haze, unable to distinguish one product from another, sometimes forgetting why you’re even there? You may be experiencing brand overload, and you’re not alone.
Shoppers are buying less and looking for bargains, so retailers like Wal-Mart are discontinuing stocking some weaker selling brand-name products and replacing them with cheaper store brands, said CNNMoney.com.
As Wal-Mart goes, other stores are sure to follow, and drugstore chains like CVS and Walgreens and the discount chain Target are also trying to simplify their shelves, said CNN. In a recession when shoppers are cutting back, variety can actually hurt sales.
“I think the feeling is that as these companies keep extending their [product] lines, it’s only causing confusion for shoppers and not really driving them to buy more products,” Lora Cecera, a retail expert at the consulting firm Altimeter Group, told CNN. “Do I really need to decide between 15 different types of toothpaste when I go to a store?”
With fewer options, shoppers are more likely to turn to cheaper house brands, boosting sales and loyalty for the retailers’ own product line. A recent survey by Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. found that 77 percent of consumers who downgraded to store brands were satisfied with the product, said CNN. Some analysts say that by cutting brands, Wal-Mart and other retailers are in a position to get better deals from suppliers on pricing and advertising.
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