Family Dollar Brings Internal Alignment to Its Private Brand Vision
By Carol Spieckerman, President, newmarketbuilders
At last week’s Private
Brand Movement conference, Mary Rachide, Family Dollar’s DVP of Private
Brands, discussed the challenges of developing private brands. Two of the challenges
identified were the need for internal alignment, most specifically between
merchandising and branding, as well as ensuring that internal stake-holders
are on board and moving in the same direction.
"Structure determines performance," stated Ms. Rachide.
for the structure is a "clean baseline" of shared
data. Everyone must first agree on a starting point. From there, "finding
and fostering" the champions across the organization, and co-creating
metrics and schedules encourages accountability and buy-in. She also emphasized
the need to clearly articulate timelines that are "synched with the merchandising
calendar," since everything takes longer than you think and, if you wait
until the end, "it will become everyone’s last priority."
Rachide acknowledged that a "huge education" has had to take
place in Family Dollar’s merchant organization after years of "managing
their own house." However, the new framework has been so well-received
that the merchants have begun to call her in advance to ask what the measurements
will be for upcoming programs.
Family Dollar has also realigned the organization
to encourage collaboration and problem-solving, and has established clear roles
and responsibilities for the private brand buying, sourcing and marketing teams.
Before, brand and merchandising reported to the CEO, which discouraged either
group from sharing their challenges. Now, although private brand and merchandising
are still separate entities, they both report to the chief merchant. This encourages
them to work out any disagreements and to "lift the rug" by openly
sharing what works and what doesn’t. When something does work, Ms. Rachide
said, it is important to openly acknowledge it and to leverage success stories
in order to "build
The company has also begun to conduct corporate "Taste
of Family Dollar" luncheon
events, in which Family Dollar brands are showcased and served to team members.
By encouraging brand engagement and interaction among team members, the company
is reinforcing the importance of, and personal connection to, its brands.
Discussion Questions: What is the optimal organizational structure for
retailer private brand building? How should retail brand-building organizations
differ from those of CPG companies?