Founded in 2001, Trace One has established itself over the years as the global reference in the field of establishing relationships between mass retailers and manufacturers developing private label products. The company made the strategic choice to pursue its focus on private labels, and it was right to do so, because private labels are now enjoying exponential growth, making Trace One a key player in the sector.
Once disparagingly referred to as “low cost”, the private label has earned its credentials in recent years. By offering innovative, quality products (not just copies of big national brands), by positioning itself in the middle and top of the range, and by offering retailers transparency and proximity, which are now priorities for consumers. As a result of these efforts, private labels are enjoying an ever-increasing penetration rate in the market.
Private label sales (growing by 2 to 3% a year) are now around 35% in Europe and are a key area of development for retailers, who are now using private labels as their “headline” to build customer loyalty. It is in this context that Trace One’s success and its strategic role in facilitating exchanges between retailers and private label manufacturers should be seen.
As Christophe Vanackere, CEO of Trace One, explains, “Private label products offer retailers new visibility and added value. Far from being satisfied with simply putting products from major national brands on the shelves and marketing them, they are now developing complete product lines that are their own and that enable them to differentiate themselves. In this respect, private labels have become crucial for the image and value of major retail chains and their manufacturers.”
Faced with this new growth model for mass retail, Trace One supports retailers and manufacturers all the way from the design, to the marketing of their private label ranges.
Thanks to a network of over 5,000 manufacturers and in-depth knowledge of the regulations and specifications of each market, Trace One can guarantee that the products created meet all the needs and desires of consumers, whether they are concerned with organic products, issues of recyclable packaging, transparency on the use of potentially controversial materials, or the guarantee of locally produced products.
Manufacturers, most of whom are small producers, also find it beneficial to work with Trace One, as they do not always have the skills and resources in-house to carry out this extremely precise and evolving work, especially with exacting specifications and regulations. Trace One supports them throughout the tender process to ensure that they respond to the best of their abilities.
Finally, Trace One manages an integrated platform for manufacturers and retailers, which includes a marketplace, listing all manufacturers and describing their know-how and production capacities, as well as an e-sourcing interface for buyers to facilitate the management of calls for tender. These tools are designed to make the process of creating and marketing private labels more fluid.
This marketplace is also free, or, “freemium” so that both large and small companies can benefit from it.
Sourcing is “a real weapon of war for the retail industry”, says Christophe Vanackère. “Our Marketplace brings together more than 5,000 manufacturers with most of the major players in the retail sector in France, Europe and around the world, enabling them to develop innovative private label products for the future,” he adds, before concluding: “Today, innovation starts with the small and the local. This is exactly the expertise we have been providing to our customers for the past 20 years.