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Private brand Q&A: Del-Nat's Mayfield talks market conditions

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This interview is the latest installment in a month-long series of question-and-answer sessions with top executives from the tire industry's leading private brand manufacturers and marketers.

Jim Mayfield is a private brand market veteran. As president of Del-Nat Tire Corp., he's responsible for the direction of the company's Delta and National private labels.

In this exclusive interview, Mayfield discusses the impact of current market conditions on private brand sales, as well as the private brand supply chain.

MTD: What is your assessment of current market conditions for private brand tires and private brand companies like Del-Nat?

Mayfield: In today's market, the entry-level category has grown to become a much larger share of our customers' sales. We see that as an opportunity to put more of our products on the shelves of our customers.

Consumers are better-educated than ever before and they are more willing to shop around for the best value. Private brands meet the need they have for quality and value, while bringing more profit opportunities to our members and their customers.

MTD: Have you experienced any significant changes in your private brand supply and/or your relationship with your private brand suppliers?

Mayfield: As anyone in the industry knows, we have seen a tremendous shift from the price increases of 2008 to deflation this year. While our supply has been stable, pricing has not, which has actually created more new buying opportunities from overseas suppliers. We have seen less volatility from our domestic suppliers, but because they don't compete at the 'new' entry-level price point, the market for those units has changed.

MTD: Gazing ahead several years, what will the private brand market look like?

Mayfield: We have already seen the definition of private brand change. We believe that competition will increase. However, our model and size make us very flexible. Whatever direction traditional private brands take, Del-Nat will be prepared.

For more about the evolution of the private brand market, see the May issue of Modern Tire Dealer, available now!



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