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ShopRite Readies Massive Private Brand Overhaul

Bowl & Basket and Paperbird to fly in stores next month
Photograph courtesy of Wakefern Food Corp.

ShopRite stores will begin what appears to be a massive transformation of its store brands behind two new lines launching next month: Bowl & Basket and Paperbird.

The new brand names were revealed this week during an address by Chris Lane, EVP of ShopRite’s cooperative parent Wakefern Food Corp., at Wakefern’s annual meeting in East Brunswick, N.J.

The Keasbey, N.J.-based company said Bowl & Basket, a new food line, and Paperbird, for household goods, are “newly designed, carefully crafted store brands [that] will offer the best assortment of high-quality foods and products at value pricing.”

Lane said the new brands—in addition to a newly launched move to everyday value pricing for frequently purchased items called Right Price Everyday, as reported first by WGB, would help to elevate customer experience in-stores and keep shoppers in the fold.

“With these pioneering launches, we are truly elevating the ShopRite experience for each and every customer who walks through our doors,” Lane said, according to a release. “We are ready to deliver to the next generation of shoppers the products and store experience that will make ShopRite their market of choice for their family meals, foods on-the-go and grocery needs.”

A company spokesman declined additional comment on the new brands pending a forthcoming orchestrated launch, so it is not immediately clear whether the new brands would replace or come in addition to ShopRite’s existing labels. These include newly launched specialty items under the ShopRite Trading Co. line of premium foods inspired by world cuisines, which launched last year, and the Wholesome Pantry line of natural, organic and free-from products that rolled out in 2016. More likely, the new brands could affect the wide variety of national-brand equivalent items currently under the ShopRite brand.

paperbird

Wakefern filed this logo with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office

Published federal trademark records indicate Wakefern is potentially preparing a significant change. It has registered Bowl & Basket for a variety of food items, including fresh foods, packaged goods such as baby food, coffee, baking goods, breakfast cereals, vitamins and supplements, and wines and liquors. Paperbird trademark records similarly cover a variety of personal care items, laundry items, kitchen wraps and foils, paper goods, cutlery and kitchen items, linens and household cleaning products. A stylized logo for the Paperbird brand has also been filed.

The cooperative posted $16.6 billion in sales during the 52-week period ending Sept. 30, a 0.7% increase from the same period in 2018. Its members opened five new ShopRite stores during the year and acquired the Gourmet Garage banner.

“It’s a time of great change and challenge in our industry, but we’re excited for the journey ahead. With every new program we roll out, we are committed to providing the best shopping experience for our customers and creating the supermarket of the future,” Joseph Colalillo, Wakefern’s chairman and CEO, said at the event.

Wakefern President and Chief Operating Officer Joe Sheridan said technology plays a key role in the push forward, with the company incorporating capabilities that elevate the customer experience both in-store and online.

wakefern

Photograph courtesy of Wakefern Food Corp.

In July, Wakefern opened the first stand-alone micro-fulfillment center in the U.S. The facility uses advanced robotics to quickly assemble ShopRite From Home grocery orders, enabling the retailer to expand the reach of its services. Wakefern is also making it easier for customers to design their own custom cakes and order catering and deli items online, and ShopRite dietitians are now available to answer customer questions through online chat.

“We are embracing change because customers are embracing change—the way they shop, the way they work and the way they live,” Sheridan said. “We are pairing high-tech with a human touch to provide the very best shopping experience. Today’s customers want great online shopping options, but they also want a personalized experience. Our promise is that we will deliver all of that to our customers.”

Shareholders at the meeting also reelected the following members to the company’s board of directors: Colalillo; Larri Wolfson, Dominick J. Romano and Irv Glass, vice chairmen; Lawrence Inserra Jr., treasurer; Jeffrey Brown and Sean McMenamin, assistant treasurers; Richard Saker, secretary; and Ned Gladstein, Nicholas Sumas, and Shawn Ravitz, assistant secretaries. Sheridan was also reelected as president and COO, and Lane was reelected as EVP.

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