Mountain Equipment Co-op: The Private Label Strategy
(7 pages of text)
Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) is a well-known Canadian retailer of outdoor clothing and equipment. While it stocks a range of branded products in its stores, a key source of profits is its private-label line. The challenge MEC faces is how to continue to develop and launch innovative private-labeled products while recognizing that they may be direct competitors of MEC’s assortment of global brands. MEC needs to develop its line-up without being seen as infringing on intellectual property or being too much of a “follower.” In assessing how MEC can develop its line-up, students can review MEC’s philosophy as a co-operative (in which it positions itself as being different from corporations) and its design philosophy.
Topics that can be discussed with this case include the role of a private label in a retail organization’s strategy, product development, and retail industry dynamics.
Canada, Large, 2009
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