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Feb 17, 2010 05:02 AM

If you can't find your favorite brand on the shelf...

...maybe it's been axed due to brand overload!

""""Large retailers -- including Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500), the world's biggest -- are wrestling with having too many types of brand-name products. At the same time, shoppers are buying less and looking for bargains.

So unless a particular brand is a top seller in its category, it's getting knocked off the shelf -- and sometimes getting replaced by a cheaper store brand.""""

Maybe that's why I couldn't find the Kaboom Oxy-clean at Harris Teeter. ;-(.
(btw, the Harris Teeter stainless steel cleaner in the spray bottle (clear bottle, blue liquid) is excellent).

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  1. Before the "great recession" hit, which I date from September of 2008, I read an article (maybe in the Wall Street Journal, but I am not sure) that discussed the effect Wal-Mart had had on food manufacturers. According to he article, Wal-Mart controls such a large portion of the grocery store market that it can insist that huge food manufacturers, such as Kraft or Del Monte, cut down the number of variations of brands that they carry. For example, you might find that Hunt's no longer produces tomato sauce with basil, just tomato sauce. (I made that up as an example. As far as I know, Hunts continues to produce tomato sauce with basil.)

    The rationale from Wal-Mart is that the more variations on a product a manufacturer carries, the more prices go up. And Wal-Mart does not have enough space on its shelves to carry all these variations. So Wal-Mart says to the manufacturers, "Look, if you cut down the number of variations of a product that you sell, the price will go down, and we don't care about your variations. We can't carry them anyhow, due to limited shelf space. What we do care about, though, is price. So if you want to appear on our shelves, cut the variations and lower the price."

    So, in the future, whether you shop at Wal-Mart or elsewhere, you may encounter lower prices but less choice. Me? I want more choices, even if it is at a higher price.

    3 Replies
    1. re: gfr1111

      but have you encountered a specific instance of this theoretical issue you posit?

      1. re: alkapal

        I've encountered many instances of reduced variety. Walmart stopped carrying Log Cabin and real maple syrup. They only offer Mrs. Butterworth's and Great Value. Almond Breeze has been taken off the shelf as well as International Coffee creamers. Fresh Express shredded lettuce has been replaced with Great Value. Plain 0% fat greek yogurt is gone. Turkey bacon varieties has dwindled to two.

        And this doesn't even cover the myriad of health/beauty/household items that have disappeared.

        1. re: alkapal

          I live in the NY metro area and I think we have the reverse problem: too many choices on the shelves! It takes me forever to find the cereal I want and forget about trying to pick out something like pickles, vinegar, olive oil, etc. Some many choices, so little patience! lol

      2. I haven't noticed the crunch in the food department yet - I don't buy many processed foods and a tomato is a tomato is a tomato. But the grocery store stopped stocking my detergent six months ago in favour of a new el-cheapo brand that doesn't work half as well (I tried it!). I have to go to Target to get the detergent I actually want.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Kajikit

          I regularly shop at Wegmans and it is hard to find brand name products. Everything is Wegmans brand with maybe one or two name brands.

        2. I don't see the real problem being a lack of choice on store shelves. I see the problem as Wal Mart being big enough to strong arm product manufacturers.

          "For example, Wal-Mart recently removed Glad and Hefty-branded storage bags from shelves, replacing them with its own lower-priced Great Value brand, according to the parent companies of both products.

          In the case of Hefty, parent Pactiv Corp. (PTV) told that Wal-Mart reversed its decision, and will return its products to shelves this spring -- after Pactiv agreed to make the Great Value bags that will sell alongside the competing Hefty product."