Are consumers moving back to national brands?

I commented on a recent RetailWire discussion about the apparent move back to national brands. While the focus of the panel was on food retailing, I think the trend is apparent in general merchandising, too:

Retailers (especially in department stores) have been in an arms race for the last few years to develop more and more private labels and exclusive brands. Sometimes it’s driven by perceived assortment voids but just as often to drive margins.

The consumer move back to national brands may signal that exclusive labels are not always offering perceived value. More likely the consumer is expressing some dissatisfaction with over-assortment and lack of brand clarity

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