Amazon, Macy's, Whole Foods post big gains in brand value

Macy's (NYSE: M), Whole Foods (NYSE: WFM), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Cabela's (NYSE: CAB) have increased their brand value by more than 25 percent this year according to a new report by Interbrand Design Forum, which has released its 2014 Best Retail Brands list.

The four retailers with the biggest gains saw success across a wide variety of measures. Macy's was applauded for its innovative omnichannel and mobile strategies, while Whole Foods was recognized for experimenting with product assortments and creating a pricing structure for cost-conscious consumers. Amazon's online advertising and original programming for its streaming video service helped the online giant increase its brand valuation, and Cabela's was featured for its brick-and-mortar merchandising and testing of new store formats.

With a value of $131.9 billion, Walmart (NYSE: WMT) led the North American region. Walmart saw its brand value drop 6 percent in the last year, but maintains its No. 1 position. After Walmart, the No. 2 spot went to Target (NYSE: TGT), followed by Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Amazon. Walmart's brand valuation is more than four times that of its closest competitor and the company is the only one of the top 10 to lose value since last year.

The Interbrand ranking measures brands on a combination of three criteria: the financial performance of the branded products or services; the role of brand in the purchase decision process; and brand strength. To be considered for the survey, retailers must earn at least 50 percent of revenue from sales in branded stores and websites.

Newcomers to the Interbrand list include Europe-based fast fashion retailers H&M and Zara, which ranked first and third, respectively, in the apparel category for building strong brand value through their trendy and affordable merchandise. Off-price retailers also made their mark in this year's rankings, with Ross Dress for Less (NASDAQ: ROST), T. J. Maxx (NYSE: TJX) and Marshalls coming in at 30, 32 and 34, respectively.

The report also shares key findings regarding the changing dynamics within the retail industry, including the importance of e-commerce and decision-making focused on "big data." The report observed that the world's most valuable retail brands were "re-imagining the customer journey through a digital lens," whether that was offering mobile shopping or virtual fitting rooms.

The Best Retail Brands report ranked the top retail brands by value in four regions, including the leading 50 in North America and in Europe, the top 30 in Asia-Pacific and the top 20 in Latin America.

For more:
-See this Interbrand press release

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