PRIVATE-LABEL HBC APPLIED BY CERTIFIED OF MIDWEST

HODGKINS, Ill. -- Certified Grocers Midwest is giving its health and beauty care section a private-label makeover.The wholesaler is introducing 70 items of Shurfine private label from Shurfine Central Corp., Northlake, Ill. Shurfine will be rolled out to 150 of the cooperative wholesaler's 260-member stores."We're getting back into a store brand to offer value-added HBC products to consumers," said

HODGKINS, Ill. -- Certified Grocers Midwest is giving its health and beauty care section a private-label makeover.

The wholesaler is introducing 70 items of Shurfine private label from Shurfine Central Corp., Northlake, Ill. Shurfine will be rolled out to 150 of the cooperative wholesaler's 260-member stores.

"We're getting back into a store brand to offer value-added HBC products to consumers," said Chuck Witt, Certified's director of general merchandise and HBC.

The private label fills a vacuum for Certified's retailers, who have been without an HBC store brand for the past year, since the wholesaler dropped the Gold Banner label, supplied by Excell Labs, Chicago, Witt said.

"Shurfine is more of a national-type label. It's better known by consumers. It has nice packaging and some good ad programs," he added.

Witt projected the Shurfine assortment would boost HBC sales by at least 5%.

Introduced at Certified's March 13 spring trade show, the new line will begin rolling out by the end of the month and is expected to be in all 150 stores by May 31. Plans are to expand the program to include 120 items over the next year.

The Shurfine selection consists of a wide array of HBC items, concentrating heavily on analgesics and cough and cold categories, which Witt said are faster-turning products. Shurfine sales will provide about 50% margins to retailers.