retail news in context, analysis with attitude

As reported yesterday in the MNB PM Update...

Minnesota-based Lund Food Holdings announced this morning that it will bring together its 27 stores operating under either the Lunds or Byerly's banner as one unified retail brand - Lunds & Byerly's.

The first official rebranding of a store will take place in Woodbury, Minnesota, this Thursday, with a rollout to follow. According to the announcement, "Beginning April 30, customers will see new employee uniforms, name badges, grocery bags and more at every Lunds & Byerly's store. New storefront “Lunds & Byerly's” signage will be installed at every location by the end of May."

Lunds acquired Byerly's in 1997, and the two chains have blended many of their operations over the past two decades, including training, procurement and product development. Private label products bearing the Lunds & Byerly's name began appearing in 2004, and the two chains combined for a unified website in 2006.

CEO Tres Lund called it "a natural next step to combine our names as yet another exciting evolution of our brand."
KC's View:
In some ways, I'm tempted to say that it is about time ... for my own purposes, I've always sort of thought of the two retail brands as co-joined. While Lunds stores often had a distinct brand image from Byerly's, this simply makes sense ... it probably will save some money down the line, and formally brings together two Twin Cities icons that many people thought of as partnered anyway.

I will say this. I've always thought that the Lunds and Byerly's stores - whether considered as one, or separately - are among the best reasons to live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. They're great stores, with a food-first approach that I find tremendously appealing. If this serves to make the company more sustainable, accessible and successful, then I'm all for it.