Private label fair offers high quality goods for less

The Shanghai Private Label Fair kicked off today at the Shanghai New International Expo Center, with more than 650 participants exhibiting their private label products at the site.

The Shanghai Private Label Fair kicked off today at the Shanghai New International Expo Center, with more than 650 participants exhibiting their products at the site.

The annual event, which began in 2010, is aimed at facilitating private labels in China.

Private label products refer to brands that carry the name of retailers, especially supermarkets and hypermarkets. Because middlemen are eliminated, prices of private label products are very competitive — an effective way to offer consumer products with higher quality but lower prices.

In Europe, private label products account for about 35 percent of all goods sold. But they represent less than 5 percent of sales in China, according to the Private Label Specialty Committee of Shanghai Licensing Association.

In big cities like Shanghai, private labels are more common. But at this year’s event, a growing proportion of participants come from inland cities, indicating the expansion of the sector in China, according to organizers.

Neil Maffey, vice president of private business Asia of Walmart International, said that people in China are willing to pay a membership fee for private label products in its Sam’s Club stores.

“In our stores, private label products represent better quality and more differentiation, and we spend a lot of effort to guarantee better packaging, event planning, brand protection and classification for private label products to make consumers believe they are worthwhile,” Maffey said.

Walmart is one of the big buyers at the event, which will run through Saturday.

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