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Walmart won top honors as the most valuable retail brand, followed by Target (No. 2), Best Buy (No. 3), The Home Depot (No. 4) and Walgreens (No. 5), according to a ranking of the top 50 retail brands by Dayton, Ohio-based branding consultancy Interbrand Design Forum.
The most striking shift in this year’s ranking is that despite the weakened economy, the Top 25 companies grew their brands’ value over last year, and not only survived but also prospered. The next 25 as a group lost value, however. Broadly speaking, falling companies slashed prices, lost focus and chose not to renew their brands through investment or innovation, while rising companies had their brand proposition fully in place to take advantage of the downturn, invested in brands and persuaded the customer of their relevance and worth.
This is Walmart’s second year as the top U.S. retail brand, an honor the study’s authors said was even more profound in light of the economic downturn that made the mega-retailer even more relevant to a greater number of shoppers. In addition, its store remodel program, “Project Impact” — including less inventory, wider aisles and fewer in-aisle displays — apparently paid off in high same-store sales. According to the Interbrand report, Walmart grew its brand value by nearly 20 percent, or $25 billion, to $154 billion. It continues to be the most valuable retail brand in the world.
Target is another company that built brand value this year. With a nearly 50 percent increase, Target leapfrogged past Best Buy and The Home Depot to take the No. 2 spot on the list. As a brand-led company, Target focused on improving its operations to boost performance in the face of reduced growth without compromising brand, while also streamlining its assets according to what matters most to its customers, Interbrand noted.
Five brands are new to the list in 2010: Dollar General (No.18; new to the list after going public in 2009), Buckle (No. 45), Family Dollar (No.46), Advance Auto Parts (No. 47) and Macy’s (No. 50)
A highlight among those new to the list is Macy’s, whose debut is attributable to its three-year focus on becoming a “master brand.” By holding steady to its strategic direction, it has succeeded in capitalizing on brand to improve its financials, and the results are showing up in organic sales growth in its 850 stores. Macy’s now has the clarity and power of a national brand.
The five brands that fell out of Interbrand’s top 50 are Hollister (last year No. 40), Barnes & Noble (last year No. 44), Men’s Wearhouse (last year No. 45), Gymboree (last year No. 48) and Anthropologie (last year No. 50).
For more information on Interbrand Design Forum's Most Valuable U.S. Retail Brands, visit www.interbranddesignforum.com.