May 22, 2019

High demand for own brand prompts launch of retailer platform

Record sales in the UK own brand grocery market have been the driving force behind a new platform, developed to help retailers meet the challenges in developing competitive own brand products.

With Kantar reporting that supermarket ‘own ranges’ accounted for more than half of grocery spending between May and July 2017 [1], own brand technology specialist Solutions for Retail Brands (S4RB) has launched its latest UBX cloud services platform, Affinity. 

Designed to help retail own brands to grow and succeed, the core Affinity package allows retailers to add different modules depending on their needs. These modules can help retail teams to improve innovation and speed of product development, as well as build supplier relationships and encourage customer advocacy.

S4RB’s existing UBX cloud services software is already in use by retailers across the globe including Asda, Waitrose, Walmart (USA) and Woolworths (Australia) and this latest development will allow own brand retailers to take their supplier engagement to the next level.

Explaining further, James Butcher, managing director at S4RB, said: “Demand for own brand goods is rocketing, giving retailers an unprecedented opportunity to grow their customer base – but only if they consistently deliver high-quality and innovative ranges.

“In the competitive grocery sector, products that fail to hit the mark in terms of taste, visual appearance and increasingly, health credentials, will simply be removed from the shelves.

“As retailers scale up their own ranges, they inevitably find themselves dealing with more suppliers than ever. Affinity allows own brand teams to share information, such as customer feedback and the latest legislation, quickly and easily, so suppliers know exactly what standard is expected. Long-term, these communications are vital in transforming suppliers into brand advocates, who have an incentive to develop better and more innovative products.”

Alongside the optional modules, Affinity can be customised according to a retailer’s brand guidelines.  

S4RB, which was founded in 2006, creates and manages software solutions to improve engagement and relationships between retailers, their own brand suppliers and their customers. Based in Nottingham, it established its US division, S4RB Inc, in Dallas–Fort Worth, Texas, in 2017.

For more details on Affinity and S4RB’s consultancy-led approach, visit