Today I am excited to announce the next presentation for the 2020 Virtual edition of Velocity Global: the My Private Brand Conference taking place August 4-5, 2020. PChris Skyers, Vice President of Own Brands, Wakefern will take the Velocity stage to present Wakefern’s Own Brands Transformation.
Chris is the Vice President of Private Label and Own Brand for Wakefern Food Corp., the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States. Skyers is responsible for overseeing Wakefern’s dynamic portfolio of private label brands – including Wholesome Pantry and ShopRite Trading Company – and leading the team that develops the innovative products that set trends in their categories.
Skyers has spent nearly two decades at Wakefern, providing leadership and direction for banner brands including ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer and Dearborn Market. Since joining Wakefern’s Human Resources team in 1999, Skyers has served different divisions as vice president, procurement manager, category manager and procurement analyst. A thought leader in the food industry, Skyers was named Merchant of the Year by Mass Market Retailers in 2015.
Skyers earned his bachelor’s degree in Human Resources from St. Leo University in St. Leo, Florida and his master’s degree in Organizational Development from Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. He lives in West Orange, New Jersey with his wife Karen and their two girls – Justine and Sabrina.
Wakefern’s Own Brands Transformation
In light of the ever-changing consumer and competitive set, a new and refocused division has been put together at Wakefern. The result is the launch of the Vertex Award-winning brands Bowl & Basket and Paperbird as well as the transformation of Wholesome Pantry. Through careful evaluation of sourcing partners and an in-depth understanding of our consumer and how she has changed, Wakefern is on track to grow its Own Brand sales penetration to 30% within the next several years with more than 3,500 new products added by the end of 2020.
Wakefern is a leader in food and beverage retailing in the U.S., the retailer’s unique cooperative structure allows independent grocers to compete, and succeed, against multinational chains.
In fact, with 51 member families who independently own and operate 354 retail supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, and Gourmet Garage banners, Wakefern Food Corp. is the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States.