Private Brand Builds Value: The Interbrand 2013 Best Retail Brands Report

Interbrand 2013 frontWalmart holds on to its #1 ranking on branding agency Interbrand‘s U.S. Most Valuable Retail Brands list for 2013. Macy’s is this year’s biggest riser, increasing brand value by 62% and moving up nine spots on the list to #40. Amazon.com has moved up to #4 on the list, growing brand value by 46%.

The Best Retail Brands report ranks the top 50 U.S. retail brands by brand value, as well as the top retail brands from around the world. The U.S. brands are valued for the fifth time in collaboration with Interbrand Design Forum, the retail experience group within Interbrand.

This years edition of the report follows the pattern set by the last few years and includes numerous retailers whose work managing and evolving their Private Brand portfolios has contributed to their value including: Target, CVS, Dollar General, Macy’s, Buckle, Big Lots, Renner, Pão de Açúcar, Lidl, Rewe, dm, GS25 and Kmart. The 110-page report demonstrates the continuing importance of retailer owned brands by including references to Private Brand/private label more than 30 times.

The 2013 report has expanded to include eleven other countries/regions. Looking beyond the U.S., the following brands are #1 in their respective countries:

  • Lululemon (Canada)
  • Oxxo (Mexico)
  • Natura (Brazil)
  • Tesco (U.K.)
  • Carrefour (France)
  • Aldi (Germany)
  • Uniqlo (Japan)
  • Suning (China)
  • FairPrice (South East Asia, Singapore)
  • Lotte Department Store (Korea)
  • Woolworths (Australia)

While consumer confidence continues to ebb and flow, energy abounds in the U.S. retail sector. The total brand value of this year’s top 50 brands is up 1.8%. Of the brands that are on the list again this year, 36 of them increased brand value while only 11 declined. The average brand on the list increased its value by over 6%, up from 4% in 2012. The threshold to earn a spot on the U.S. ranking has increased to $836 million; last year it took a brand value of $ 771 million to make the top 50.

There are some notable shifts in the U.S. top 10, but the top three brands hold their positions. Walmart maintains its #1 position by a huge margin with a brand value over $141 billion, up 1% from last year. Target is in the #2 position with a value of $25 billion, up 7% from 2012. The Home Depot is solid at #3 with a brand value of nearly $23 billion. Amazon makes a big jump to #4 from last year’s #9. CVS/pharmacy is down one spot to #5; its brand value decreased 8%. Coach moves up one position to #6 with an 8% jump over last year, while Walgreens drops one notch to #7 with a 4% decline. Sam’s Club increases brand value by 5% and holds on to the #8 position. eBay ups its rank to #9 and Nordstom increases 7% to join the top 10. Best Buy falls out of the top 10 for the first time in the five years that we’ve ranked the top 50 most valuable retail brands with a brand value decline of 52%, which puts it at #13 on the list.

Three brands — Express, Cabela’s and Anthropologie — join the U.S. Most Valuable Retail Brands this year, while Toys “R” Us, Abercrombie & Fitch and Advance Auto Parts fall out of the ranking.

“The brands that make our list define the retail ecosystem and determine where it’s going,” says Justin Wartell, Managing Director, Interbrand Design Forum. “Their relevance combined with the influence of new brands with unique business models brings the evolving world of retail into focus — interconnected, immediate, always on, dynamic, memorable and sometimes unexpected.”

Each year, Interbrand studies what makes retail brands successful and documents their challenges. The brands that succeed amongst the tumultuous backdrop of the retail industry have four things in common:

  • Valuable retail brands monitor customer’s changing needs. In the race for relevance — that is, providing customers with a reason to choose a brand — the strongest relentlessly pursue knowledge about their consumers and incorporate those insights into their everyday behavior. With economic power distributed across an ever growing portfolio of touchpoints, customers — not the brands themselves — set the rules of engagement.
  • Leaders build a culture of efficient decision-making. The pace of retail and customer expectations around speed continues to increase. To respond, executives need to build cultures, processes and systems that enable quick decisions. This isn’t just about assortment adjustments. It’s about organizational commitment to moving at the speed of the retail world to remain competitive.
  • It’s understood that experience extends beyond the store. Even the definition of retail is changing. “Retail” no longer refers to physical stores; it refers to the complete experience created by retail brands — from physical stores to digital touchpoints to service experiences to products. Retailers witnessing big gains this year have committed to this holistic view of experience. Rather than antiquated methods of maximizing stores at the expense of other channels, top brands think in terms of groups of touchpoints and the optimization of experience.
  • The best continuously optimize, scale and measure. The need to move quickly can pressure retail leaders to abandon their commitment to the tasks aligned with optimization, scaling and measurement. Many do achieve top speed, as the industry demands, where it becomes challenging to evaluate on the fly. Across the top retailers, commitment to ongoing, meaningful measurement and refinement is clear.

“Last year was an exciting and value creating year in retail. The total value of the strongest retail brands increased. This trend should continue as these brands live the principles that have made them strong: the relentless pursuit of meaningful customer knowledge, an efficient decision-making culture, a commitment to the new definition of retail and the determination to optimize and scale with purpose. That’s the recipe for success in 2013,” said Wartell.

50 Most Valuable U.S. Retail Brands for 2013

2013
Rank
BRAND 2013
BRAND VALUE $m
% CHANGE
(BRAND VALUE)
1 Walmart $141,017 1%
2 Target $25,059 7%
3 The Home Depot $22,940 4%
4 Amazon.com $18,625 46%
5 CVS/pharmacy $15,909 -8%
6 Coach $14,577 8%
7 Walgreens $14,400 -4%
8 Sam’s Club $13,514 5%
9 eBay $10,947 12%
10 Nordstrom $10,143 7%
11 Publix $9,941 9%
12 Lowe’s $8,839 2%
13 Best Buy $8,067 -52%
14 Costco $7,322 14%
15 Dollar General $7,107 10%
16 Victoria’s Secret $6,105 11%
17 Kohl’s $5,654 -5%
18 Staples $5,513 -7%
19 Tiffany & Co. $5,159 15%
20 Avon $5,151 -4%
21 AutoZone $4,372 2%
22 Gap $3,731 -8%
23 Bed Bath & Beyond $3,634 10%
24 Old Navy $2,794 7%
25 Sherwin-Williams $2,720 5%
26 GameStop $2,531 -29%
27 Ross Dress for Less $2,112 17%
28 Michaels $1,966 -7%
29 J.Crew $1,805 12%
30 Banana Republic $1,757 8%
31 T.J.Maxx $1,742 13%
32 Marshalls $1,698 10%
33 PetSmart $1,649 8%
34 Whole Foods Market $1,524 28%
35 Dick’s Sporting Goods $1,426 14%
36 Guess $1,347 -23%
37 Bath & Body Works $1,325 14%
38 Dollar Tree $1,314 13%
39 Tractor Supply Co. $1,282 38%
40 Macy’s $1,259 62%
41 American Eagle Outfitters $1,193 12%
42 Urban Outfitters $1,176 6%
43 Buckle $1,022 5%
44 Big Lots $1,018 1%
45 Family Dollar $1,015 17%
46 Rent-A-Center $940 22%
47 Radio Shack $923 -26%
48 Express $851 NEW
49 Cabela’s $839 NEW
50 Anthropologie $836 NEW

Note: These figures are expressed in millions, so Walmart’s value of $141,017 is $141 billion. At the bottom of the list, Anthropologie’s value is $836 million.



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Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan).

Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s.
Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago.

Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.