Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Big stores = Big brand value

January 13, 2009

USA-HOLIDAYSALES/Bigger appears to be better, at least in the retail industry.  According to retail brand consultancy Interbrand Design Forum, Walmart is the most valuable U.S. retail brand.
Interbrand just ranked the 50 most valuable U.S. retail brands for 2009. While the firm looked at the impact of the brands themselves, the list shows that big box stores have the power. Rounding out the top four – Best Buy, Home Depot and Target.

Interbrand said a brand accounts for 25 percent of the decision to shop at a store. It gave Walmart — Wal-Mart’s U.S. unit – a brand value of $129.8 billion. While that makes the world’s largest retailer the brand value leader, that value is well short of the $235.9 billion in sales racked up at U.S. Walmart stores over the 48 weeks that ended on Jan. 2.

Interbrand noted how Walmart has done some big rebranding, like getting rid of that hyphen when it refers to the U.S. stores.  That’s right, call those Walmarts now, not Wal-Marts.  (OK, so these bags at a Walmart store last November are a bit outdated.)

Best Buy, at No. 2, has a brand value just under $22 billion.
“During a period of increased competition and lowered sales, brands that have successful propositions, such as Walmart, and offer an engaging shopping experience, like Best Buy, will come out on top,” said Interbrand CEO Lee Carpenter.
So who was missing from the list? Interbrand said “financial woes” kept department stores such as Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Sears out of the rankings. Fellow chains Nordstrom (No. 13), Kohl’s (No. 22) and JCPenney (No. 24) made the cut.
Interbrand also said grocery stores scored low in terms of customer loyalty and brand strength. Whole Foods was the only one in the top 50, at No. 47.

Want to see the full list?  Just click here.

(Reuters photo)

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