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Executives expect rise in store brands

BY HBSDEALER Staff

According to Deloitte’s “The Battle for Brands in a World of Private Labels” study, when asked how market share of store brands will change in the United States by 2012, 77% of CPG executives and 90% of retail executives surveyed indicated it will increase or increase significantly.

Fewer than two out of 10 executives surveyed believe consumers view store brands as likely to be manufactured by the traditional national brands. Also, eight out of 10 consumers surveyed during Deloitte’s “2010 American Pantry Study” believe that most store brands are manufactured by the traditional national brands, Deloitte reported. In addition to the disconnect around manufacturing of store brands, 85% of consumers also indicated that they have found several store brands that are just as good as national brands, and as a result have little reason to switch back. 

“Though conventional wisdom has co-branding between retailers and CPG companies as a win-lose proposition, the results of our study indicate that nearly half of retail and CPG executives agree that working together may be the best way to win the wallets of the ‘new consumer,’ ” said Pat Conroy, vice chairman and Deloitte’s U.S. consumer products practice leader. “What they need to consider are variations on current brands and what new innovations should be brought to market so as not to overwhelm an already substantial marketplace.”

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Construction backlog at standstill

BY HBSDEALER Staff

In a national survey of its members, the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) has reported that its latest Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) remained virtually unchanged since June, where it stood at seven months. CBI is a forward-looking indicator that measures the amount of non-residential construction work under contract to be completed in the future.

“Construction backlog is no longer expanding despite the fact that backlog related to infrastructure continues to increase,” said ABC chief economist Anirban Basu. “This suggests that the recovery of privately financed activities remains slow. There are no indications, however, that overall construction business volume has begun to shrink; merely that [the] backlog is no longer advancing.

Nonresidential construction activities typically lag the overall economy by 12 to 24 months, according to Basu, with the implication that privately financed activities should soon begin to show signs of a rebound.

The northeastern United States has enjoyed a strong rebound in non-residential construction activity for a variety of reasons, according to the ABC, including healthier investment banks, increased federal government spending on military bases and expansion in the technology sector. In contrast, the West continues to suffer disproportionately due to ongoing softness in economic activity in Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico.

“Construction backlog is roughly flat in sectors of the economy that heavily depend on private financing and remains elevated for segments that depend on public financing. This is cause for concern because publicly financed construction spending is set to decline sometime in 2011, and beyond,” Basu said.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., ABC is a national association with 77 chapters representing 25,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms with 2 million employees.

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Tart Lumber hosts Pledge to America

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Republican Party leaders descended on Sterling, Va., this morning to deliver their “Pledge to America.”

The media and political event took place at Tart Lumber Co., a hardware store and lumberyard that’s been in business since 1951.

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