American and European retail brands are leading the global retail sector in bouncing back better from the pandemic, with Amazon (brand value up 38% to US$350.3 billion) and Walmart (brand value up 20% to US$111.9 billion) leading the way. In a world of changing customer demand and disrupted supply chains, these big retailers are applying their logistics expertise to adapt in innovative ways to the ‘new normal’. Increasingly, these mega retail brands are bringing logistics operations in-house and using their vertical integration to deliver – literally –for customers.
Every year, leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the biggest brands to the test, and publishes around 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. The retail industry’s top 100 most valuable and strongest brands in the world are included in the annual Brand Finance Retail 100 ranking.
Amazon retains title of the most valuable retail brand valued at US$350.3 billion
Amazon sits in 1st position as the most valuable retail brand in the world, up 38% year-on-year and valued at US$350.3 billion. Amazon provides outstanding value to its shoppers in big markets such as Brazil, USA, UK, and is a dominant market retailer in many more. Value has always been a big driver of consumer behaviour, but Amazon also delivers a slick shopping experience (“excellent website/apps”), and this powerful combination is irresistible for many consumers, even those who question Amazon’s values and broader corporate reputation.
Amazon sees logistics as key, developing its own end-to-end supply chain through a growing fleet of trucks, vans, and aeroplanes in many jurisdictions. Across 2020 and 2021, the brand has invested an estimated US$80 billion in its logistics division, compared to US$58 billion in the previous five years combined. This allows Amazon to deliver on its core brand promise to customers: delivering goods to consumers efficiently and effectively.
Richard Haigh, Managing Director of Brand Finance, commented:
“Retail brands globally have been quick to adapt to rapidly changing buying and selling patterns resulting in incredible brand value growth across leading brands. The sector tackled shortages caused by the pandemic by innovating with logistics and technology.”
Burlington is the fastest growing retail brand in the world with a brand value growth of 80%
American department store retailer Burlington (brand value up 80% to US$2.6 billion) is the world’s fastest growing retail brand with an impressive performance over 2021. Burlington achieved a brand value growth of 80% year-on-year after being negatively impacted by the pandemic the previous year. The brand was in a phase of recovery and sales this year have exceeded well beyond pre-pandemic levels in 2021.
The brand is investing in its long-term growth to maintain its streak post COVID-19. The retailer hired experts from discount store brand Ross Stores to lead this transformation. The brand is heading in the direction of low-price retail giants by boosting sales productivity and inventory turnover by increasing its store count in target markets.
Target breaks into the top 10 retail brands
American retailer Target (brand value up 37% to US$28.3 billion) enters the top 10 retail brands to become the eighth most valuable brand, up three ranking places from eleventh. Target achieved strong growth during the pandemic as shoppers preferred to minimize multiple shopping trips and Target served as a one-stop shop for customers for large volumes of grocery shopping.
Like global leaders Amazon and Walmart, the brand has invested heavily in developing its private labels and supply chain partners and is increasing its scale of operations and product offerings significantly. Target has also communicated its goal of being "America's easiest place to shop" by introducing its multi-channel shopping options and cementing its identity as a one-stop shop.
7-Eleven completes acquisition of convenience store brand Speedway
Japanese retail chain 7-Eleven (brand value up 50% to US$13.7 billion) as a result of significant acquisitions and brand growth. The convenience retailer introduced a contactless shopping experience with ‘7NOW Delivery’, its mobile application to ensure safety precautions and delivery for medicines and essential items.
The retailer completed the acquisition of American convenience store Speedway worth US$21 billion. Speedway has over 3800 stores across United States, bringing the combined 7-Eleven total to approximately 14,000 convenience stores across North America.
Leroy Merlin benefitting from new flexible work culture
French home improvement and gardening retailer Leroy Merlin (brand value up 50% to US$5.8 billion) achieved significant brand growth this year. The brand achieved significant scale improvements during the pandemic, and was able to deliver to customer demands for home improvement goods during the pandemic. It was able to respond to customer demand as consumers spent more on such items, and less on travel, during global pandemic lockdowns
Circle K’s rebranding efforts paying off
Canadian convenience store Circle K (brand value up 52% to US$9.0 billion) wasable to flourish under pandemic conditions. Three years ago, Alimentation Couche-Tard began the project of rebranding their large global portfolio of brands under the Circle K global master brand. The master brand strategy was a bold, expensive, and highly effective decision. Since 2020, the Circle K brand has grown in value by $3.5 billion and is now the world’s 25th most valuable retail brand, a rise of 8 ranking places this year.
The rebrand involved revising licensing agreements, new banners and brand awareness activities in physical stores and gas stations as well as redesigning the brand’s logo colours among other visual identity changes. This brand strategy was a bold, expensive, but highly effective decision for the brand’s performance globally.
Note to Editors
Every year, leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance puts 5,000 of the biggest brands to the test, and publishes nearly 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. The world’s top 100 most valuable and strongest retail brands are included in the Brand Finance Retail 100 ranking.
Brand value is understood as the net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market. Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors.
Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. Bridging the gap between marketing and finance, Brand Finance evaluates the strength of brands and quantifies their financial value to help organisations of all kinds make strategic decisions.
Headquartered in London, Brand Finance has offices in over 20 countries, offering services on all continents. Every year, Brand Finance conducts more than 5,000 brand valuations, supported by original market research, and publishes nearly 100 reports which rank brands across all sectors and countries.
Brand Finance is a regulated accountancy firm, leading the standardisation of the brand valuation industry. Brand Finance was the first to be certified by independent auditors as compliant with both ISO 10668 and ISO 20671, and has received the official endorsement of the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) in the United States.
Brand is defined as a marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos, and designs, intended to identify goods, services, or entities, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits.
Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors. Brand Finance evaluates brand strength in a process compliant with ISO 20671, looking at Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and the impact of those on Business Performance. The data used is derived from Brand Finance’s proprietary market research programme and from publicly available sources.
Each brand is assigned a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand is assigned a corresponding Brand Rating up to AAA+ in a format similar to a credit rating.
Brand Finance calculates the values of brands in its rankings using the Royalty Relief approach – a brand valuation method compliant with the industry standards set in ISO 10668. It involves estimating the likely future revenues that are attributable to a brand by calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for its use, to arrive at a ‘brand value’ understood as a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market.
The steps in this process are as follows:
1 Calculate brand strength using a balanced scorecard of metrics assessing Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and Business Performance. Brand strength is expressed as a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score on a scale of 0 to 100.
2 Determine royalty range for each industry, reflecting the importance of brand to purchasing decisions. In luxury, the maximum percentage is high, while in extractive industry, where goods are often commoditised, it is lower. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database.
3 Calculate royalty rate. The BSI score is applied to the royalty range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty range in a sector is 0-5% and a brand has a BSI score of 80 out of 100, then an appropriate royalty rate for the use of this brand in the given sector will be 4%.
4 Determine brand-specific revenues by estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to a brand.
5 Determine forecast revenues using a function of historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts, and economic growth rates.
6 Apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues.
7 Discount post-tax brand revenues to a net present value which equals the brand value.
Brand Finance has produced this study with an independent and unbiased analysis. The values derived and opinions presented in this study are based on publicly available information and certain assumptions that Brand Finance used where such data was deficient or unclear. Brand Finance accepts no responsibility and will not be liable in the event that the publicly available information relied upon is subsequently found to be inaccurate. The opinions and financial analysis expressed in the study are not to be construed as providing investment or business advice. Brand Finance does not intend the study to be relied upon for any reason and excludes all liability to any body, government, or organisation.
The data presented in this study form part of Brand Finance's proprietary database, are provided for the benefit of the media, and are not to be used in part or in full for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.