On Saturday 23 May, after a brief illness, Brian Sharoff passed away at the age of 77. As president of the Private Label Manufacturers Association, he has had a tremendous impact on the development of Private Label around the world.
I first met Brian not long after I had participated in one of the earliest versions of the PLMA show back in 1989. At that time, no more than 40 participants only partly occupied one hall in the Amsterdam RAI exhibition centre. Each having the same one-size-fits-all booth of no more than 16 square metres. Those were the early days where pioneers in the private label industry gathered to meet with their retail clients.
So much has changed in the world of Private Label over the past three decades. Without doubt, Brian has been a driving force behind the spectacular growth of retailer brands.
The annual PLMA exhibition in Amsterdam has grown into the epicentre of private label trading for the industry. Today, on 26 May, this year’s show would have started at the RAI if the world had not been hit by the coronavirus crisis. The event would now have had more than 2,800 participating manufacturers, occupying every single hall of the 116,200-square-metre RAI complex.
Brian Sharoff was a true visionary and undoubtedly had a tremendous impact on the development of private label that took the world by storm. He considered the PLMA to be his life’s work and could react strongly when he thought he had to protect the interests of his association.
With relentless energy and passion, he travelled the continents to develop the PLMA into a global organisation. In addition to the annual exhibitions in Europe, the United States and China, the association initiated round-table conferences and education programmes to enhance executives‘ understanding of retailer brand management.
There is no doubt that the organization could not have grown into what it is today without Brian’s inspiring leadership. The entire private label industry is deeply indebted to him and Brian deserves a statue for what he accomplished.