Walmart Joins Retailers Tailoring Private-Label Offerings to Gen Z

group of Gen Z people

As Gen Z shows an inclination for shopping from retailers’ own brands, major players are tailoring their private-label offerings to these young consumers’ desires and preferences.

Walmart, for instance, recently relaunched its $2 billion No Boundaries fashion brand with an eye toward attracting new Gen Z shoppers.

“There’s a huge opportunity for Walmart to reach a Gen Z customer with a brand that has both incredible style and unbelievable prices,” Jen Jackson Brown, senior vice president of Walmart U.S. fashion brands, said in a statement. “We have 145 million U.S. customers shopping with us in stores and online each week, and the new No Boundaries brand is designed and marketed with intention to reach this young adult audience by focusing on fit, quality, style and fabrics that resonate with them.”

Given this goal, the brand puts an emphasis on self-expression, which younger consumers tend to prioritize, as well as on modern trends such as baggier jeans and crop tops.

Indeed, Gen Z private-label customers seem to pose a valuable opportunity for retailers, according to findings from the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA). The group’s research reveals that 67% of Gen Z shoppers are highly aware of store brands, and 64% frequently purchase them. Additionally, 56% are likely to experiment with store brands to find the best value, and 51% consistently choose their shopping destination based on the availability of store brands.

“To succeed with Gen Z, retailers must establish a foundation of store brand suppliers who meet their customers’ quality expectations,” Sara Williamson, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing at SUNY Old Westbury, said in a statement accompanying the report.

As such, major retailers are tailoring their private-label offerings to the demands of Gen Z consumers. Take, for instance, environmental concerns. H&M has for years had its “Conscious Collection,” which uses sustainable materials like organic cotton and recycled polyester. The firm highlights its commitment to ethical practices, which resonate with Gen Z’s eco-conscious mindset. Target, similarly, has its “Everspring” line, featuring household products made from natural and biodegradable ingredients, along with sustainable packaging.

Gen Z also tends to value transparency. Sephora touts its “Clean at Sephora” private-label products that provide greater transparency about product ingredients. Amazon has its “Amazon Aware” providing detailed product information and sourcing details to ensure that products meet certain third-party certifications.

Notably, PYMNTS Intelligence data show that Gen Z consumers are less likely than millennials to be trading down to lower-cost products such as private-label brands amid inflation, though this could be because they were already buying them. Supplemental findings from last year’s  “Consumer Inflation Sentiment Report: Consumers Cut Back by Trading Down” found that 37% of Gen Z consumers had been purchasing lower quality grocery products due to price increases, and 33% said the same of retailers. Conversely, a significantly greater 45% and 42%, respectively, said the same. In fact, these findings could indicate, if anything, that Gen Z shoppers tend to be more loyal to their favorite brands than their older counterparts.

As Gen Z continues to prioritize values such as self-expression, eco-consciousness and authenticity, retailers who align their private-label brands with these ideals are likely to thrive.  The significant purchasing power and brand loyalty of Gen Z consumers make them a crucial market segment, driving innovation and reshaping retailers’ own-brand strategies to meet their evolving demands.

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