Walmart Slides But Still Top Retail Brand; Amazon Gaining Fast

When it comes to global brand value, Walmart continues to be the most powerful retailer, with its brand valued at $30.42 billion. But a new ranking from Kantar Retail and BrandZ reflects some seismic shifts in consumer spending in the last year: While the category as a whole shrank, Amazon shot into the No. 2 spot like a meteor, with a brand value of $27.45 billion—a 359% increase since 2006, when it was ranked No. 8. This year alone, its brand value jumped 29%, demonstrating not just how important e-commerce has become to shoppers, "but that the company is unbelievably smart in its branding efforts," David Roth, CEO of The Store, WPP's retail practice, tells Marketing Daily. "There isn't a single retailer out there who can't learn something from Amazon's successes."

In contrast, 13 of the top 20 saw their brand value decline. No. 1 ranked Walmart's global brand value fall 4%, No. 5 Target's fell 1%, and No. 6 eBay plunged 28%, which Roth attributes to more powerful search engines making its easier to circumvent auctions and still find the best prices. Some, Roth says, are directly attributable to the economy, including Ikea (ranked No. 12, with a 15% decline in brand value) and the Home Depot (ranked seventh, with a decline of 3%.)

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