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Survey assesses brand value of largest global retailers

01 July 2010 - 12:42 by Paul Tissington

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An annual study of retail giants has revealed the most valued and trusted brands in the world, with many firms forging their businesses and reputations by providing facilities to ensure safe shopping online.

Analyst firm Kantar Retail compiles its annual report based upon both the retailers themselves and the opinions of the consumers who use them. The firm and its report are considered to be an authority on brand value in the retail sector.

Kantar Retail's CEO Wayne Levings identified the ways in which trends in the UK and around the world have altered due to the impact of the recession and the power of e-commerce, with many more people shopping online rather than hitting the high street.

Online retailer Amazon has seen one of the most significant gains in brand value over the past four years, with its movement in the chart from eighth in 2006 to second in the most recent study. This has allowed it to usurp UK retailer Tesco from the number two spot, placing it just behind US corporation Wal-Mart Stores, which has actually seen a four per cent drop in the value of its brand over the past 12 months.

Kantar Retail described the impact of e-commerce as revolutionary and it cites Amazon as the perfect example of what can be achieved via online retail.

Online auction site eBay remains in the top 10, representing only the second entry for online retail in the current study. However, Mr Levings was keen to point out that the majority of the current leading brands had only maintained their strong positions by diversifying their services, notably by operating online as well as on the high street.

The value of a brand is extremely important for any retailer, because it builds a relationship with the consumer that is based on emotion rather than just pure business, according to Mr Levings. Clearly, retailers need to offer an environment for safe shopping online in order to consolidate and grow brand value.