Woolworths, which owns Countdown supermarkets, will dump its 33-year-old red and white Homebrand private label. After spending months narrowing the price gap with discount retailer Aldi, the Homebrand label will be phased out and replaced by the Essentials brand. Woolworths is reviewing the entire suite of private labels, including Select and Macro.
“Part of this review will see our current value ranges, Homebrand and Essentials, consolidated into one improved value range called Essentials,” Woolworths said in a statement. “The Essentials range, as the name suggests, are products every home needs, both food and non-food.”
The name change will affect hundreds of products.
Industry analyst Daniel Mueller said Woolworths may be trying to tackle perception troubles around the price and quality of the brand. “The brand was a little bit tarnished in that they were more expensive than Aldi and at times more expensive than Coles last year,” he said.
Mueller said Aldi had achieved a strong reputation for reasonable quality products at low prices. Woolworths has spent more than $350 million so far on lowering food prices in a bid to narrow the price gap with Aldi and Coles.
The retail giant, which posted a first-half loss of $972.7 million last month due to its failed Masters hardware business, said customers can be assured that the Essentials brand will offer market-leading value.