Woolworths debuts 'phantom brands'

Date : 28 October 2016

Woolworths in Australia has launched a range of new 'phantom brands', exclusive to the retailer, but without any Woolworths branding.

Brands stretch across numerous categories

Woolworths has developed the new brands using customer insights and said that some customers preferred to not have the retailer brand on the products they bought. A whole range of new products have started appearing on the shelves, including; Smitten and Apollo pet food, Shevron batteries, Little Ones nappies, Hillview cheese. The retailer has also removed its private label brand from existing products, for example its Woolworths Select Herbal Sensations shampoo, is now simply Herbal Sensations and some Woolworths Gold products are now simply being branded as 'Gold'.

Similar approaches have seen mixed success...

This is not the first time that retailers have tested this strategy. Tesco launched a similar strategy in the UK a few years ago under what it called 'venture brands', with all the brands now disappeared from its stores. Dairy Farm in Asia also operates a similar strategy with unique brands created just for its stores, such as Papa Alfredo Italian ranges, VitaPet pet food and French Cellar wines. This strategy also clearly looks to replicate Aldi as well. Following Woolworths Q1 results, sales growth appears to be going in the right direction, however time will tell whether this new strategy will prove successful.