Grocery chains are using branded merchandise to enhance brand loyalty and create buzz
Grocery and convenience stores are increasingly investing in branded merchandise for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, branded merchandise can help to drive customer loyalty and increase brand recognition. When customers see and use products with the store's logo or branding, they are more likely to think of that store when they need to make a purchase. This can lead to repeat business and a stronger customer base for the store.
Believe the hype
Branded merchandise can also be a way for stores to generate additional revenue. And this is of course nothing new, but what makes it interesting in this day of age is the unbelievable hype factor and the juxtaposition of the fact that the most coveted pieces come from the low price chains.
Two brands that have had great success with their clothing lines are Aldi and Lidl. Both chains' merchandise has been sold out faster than you can say food waste. The items are also resold at extreme prices on the second hand market. The two chains do it with different strategies though.
Aldi dropped a new The Aldimania line last year and it had some (or a lot) similarities to Adidas. Gutsy but smart move to secure all the possible PR they can get. It didn’t take long before “Aldidas” was a thing. It contained a range of sweatshirts, joggers, and sneakers, calling it "its most ambitious campaign ever," with some products selling out minutes after launch. These products were offered to their consumers exclusively online and some also only available through a raffle. In that way they made it available for the whole world, not just people with an Aldi nearby.
Lidl is taking a bit of a different approach but I dare to say that the outcome is pretty much the same. They release all their clothes in-store only and in that way creates a different kind of craze. The first come first served strategy is much more local and makes it a little more of a job for the consumers. As well as Aldi, Lidl also sells them at low and affordable prices but in advertising and PR they treat it like high end street fashion. The contrast makes it interesting somehow.
So far no Swedish grocery chains have jumped onto the corps merch train in the same way (as I know of). I wonder if we will see some in the future? As I wrote in earlier, I think the ones most likely to succeed is a chain with a low price image and I would guess that in Sweden, that chain would be Willys. They would be able provide the right kitsch factor for it to become really cool. Remember where you read it first!
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