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Marketing Management Case Study

Case Title:

Private Labels in Europe: Potential Threats for Brands?

Publication Year :  2010

Authors: Gayatri. D, T. Phani Madhav

Industry: Retail

Region: US

Case Code: MM0055

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available


By early 2005, a major part of retail sales in Europe came from the private labels. Private labels in Europe had begun to emerge as alternatives to the brand name products. Brands created by Wal-Mart, Target and others, began to eat into the market share of the brand name businesses. This worried the brand name businesses like Procter & Gamble and Unilever, especially in the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) sector. High concentration, bargaining power of retailers and consolidations in the industry had contributed to the growth of private labels in Europe. By the end of the 20th century, private labels entered product lines like beauty and cosmetics, which had been dominated by big brand names till recent times. Private labels have become a lucrative business opportunity in Europe, while big brands were struggling to cope with the new competition.

Pedagogical Objective:

  • To discuss the rise of private labels in Europe and the factors that contributed to their growth
  • To discuss the comparative advantage of private labels over brands, for retailers as well as customers
  • To discuss about the possible strategies of established brands.

Keywords : Private labels, In-store brands, Comparative advantage, Higher retailer margins, Brands & Branding Case Study, Wal-Mart effect, Retailers’ bargaining power, Consolidation in the industry, FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) companies


  • Brands in Post-brand World
  • Private Labels in Europe
  • ComparativeAdvantage
  • End of Brands?

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