Amazon.com Inc. is preparing to broadly expand its fledgling lineup of private-label brands to include an array of grocery items such as milk, cereal, and baby food as well as household cleaners, people familiar with the matter said, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Amazon’s planned expansion in the private-label business mirrors a more traditional retail model where name-brand products are sold beside store-owned goods. Private labels have become a vital business for mass-market retailers, generating stronger margins and building loyalty with consumers who no longer view generic products as lower quality.
Earlier this month, Amazon sought trademark protection for more than two dozen categories under its Elements brand, including coffee, soup, pasta, water, vitamins, dog food and household items like razors and cleaning products. Diapers and baby wipes—the latter of which is still on the market—were Amazon’s first line of Elements, available to customers who pay $99 a year for a Prime unlimited shipping membership.
Amazon has approached some private-label food manufacturers seeking a partner, according to people familiar with the matter. Those discussions included TreeHouse Foods Inc. of Oak Brook, Ill., one of the larger private-label producers, with $3 billion in sales last year, said one of the people.
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