Taking private labels upmarket: Empirical generalizations on category drivers of premium private label introductions

Anne ter Braak, Inge Geyskens*, Marnik G. Dekimpe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

67 Citations (Web of Science)


Premium private labels (PLs) are considered one of the hottest trends in grocery retailing. Still, retailers do not feel the need to introduce premium PLs in every category. Generalizing across approximately 150 categories for six retailers from two countries that already carry premium PLs for several years, the authors find that retailers are more likely to introduce premium PLs in categories with a higher industry PL share, and with a more proliferated assortment in terms of standard PLs. However, retailers are also aware of the risk of creating PL fatigue at high levels of standard PL proliferation. Further, premium PLs are more likely to be introduced in categories with more frequent price promotions, a longer interpurchase time, a higher need for variety, and higher functional, but lower social, risk. In addition, retailers consider category growth and the prevailing practice of their country's premium-PL pioneer when deciding in which categories to also introduce a premium PL. Finally, when NBs spend a smaller amount on advertising and NB proliferation is moderate, premium PL introductions are more likely. Importantly, while some of the earlier empirical generalizations on factors conducive to a standard PL entry still hold for a premium PL entry, new variables need to be considered as well, while other insights need to be updated to better reflect the new reality of higher-quality/higher-price premium PL introductions. (C) 2014 New York University. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-140
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Retailing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Grocery retailing
  • Private labels
  • Premium quality tier
  • Empirical generalizations

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