Retailers Rally Behind Their ‘Captive Brands’

Retailers have come a long way from the no frills aisle.

Rather than marketing store brands as some lesser, cheaper alternative to brand name products, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, CVS and others are increasingly creating and promoting their own “captive brands.”

For example, the bioInfusion line of haircare products, available only at Walgreens, sits on the shelf alongside Procter & Gamble’s Pantene. At CVS, Pantene has to contend with the Cristophe line. At Wal-Mart, it is up against Equate.

Carrying no evidence of the store’s affiliation, these brands, manufactured by a third party and sold exclusively at the chains (hence “captive”), let the retailer command a price similar to brands produced by consumer packaged goods companies like P&G. They also let the retailers gain ground in a category