The number of private-label baby products that Walmart stocks is being increased as the retail giant tries to fight off competition from the likes of fellow big-box retailer, Target, and online retailer Amazon. This move will see about 120 new products added to the Parent’s Choice brand while around 100 other times will be upgraded. By the time new product lineup has been completely overhauled next year in January it is expected that the number of baby products under the Parent’s Choice brand will have increased to 275 items.
According to the baby products vice president at Walmart, Diana Marshall, the decision to revamp the private-label line of baby products has been motivated by the retailer’s desire to assist parents to stay under budget and on trend.
“As parents ourselves, we know what products are needed most, and we’ve raised the bar on quality for these Parent’s Choice items and more,” said Marshall.
Some of the enhancements that Walmart has made include baby food, lotion, baby wipes and sippy cups. A 53-item bedding line has also been produced and this includes nursery sets, blankets and crib sheets. A premium diaper has also been produced and according to Walmart it is more absorbent and softer. In the course of the development of the diaper, tests were done on the babies of the employees.
According to Marshall overhauling the line of baby products took close to four years and is part of the retailer’s broader strategy of improving the quality and choice in its range of private-label offerings. In the last couple of years the giant retailer has made heavy investments in expanding and improving brands such as Sam’s Choice and Great Value.
Earlier in the year the chief executive officer of Walmart, Doug McMillon, said there existed huge opportunities waiting to be exploited by the retailer in its private brands. An Edward Jones’ retail analyst, Brian Yarbrough, said that private-label offerings could allow a retailer such as Walmart to differentiate itself from competitors since these products are not available from other retailers. These products are also critical in driving traffic.
European retail rivals such as Lidl and Aldi have also applied pressure on retailers such as Walmart following their entry into the United States since they are heavily dependent on private-label offerings as they are usually priced lower than the alternatives. Private-label products also generate higher profit margins.