Canadian retailer Metro Inc. has decided to revamp its ranges of private-label products.

The company, Canada's third-largest supermarket chain, is to replace its four private-label brands with two new names.

A Metro Inc. spokesman said that, in the wake of the 2005 acquisition of A&P Canada, it had become "costly and inefficient" to have four brands - Merit Selection, Super C, Equality and Master Choice.

"With a two-tier strategy brand nationwide, we can achieve better synergy through the whole chain," the spokesman told just-food today (19 April). "We can work more aggressively and efficiently to develop a better brand recognition."

Competition in the private-label sector has grown in the Canadian province of Ontario in recent months. Wal-Mart, for instance, has opened some Super Center stores in and around Toronto.

The spokesman declined to reveal the two new brand names in Metro Inc.'s private-label overhaul. However, he said: "For the customers there will be virtually no change in terms of number of products. In our process chain, we will have almost half of our total SKUs."

The first new products will be available in stores this autumn, the spokesman added.