Alibaba Becomes World's Most Valuable Retail Brand

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Alibaba Becomes World's Most Valuable Retail Brand

05/27/2015
In the tenth annual BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking, released by WPP and Millward Brown, the most valuable retail brands lack physical stores. Chinese e-tailer Alibaba shot into the top spot of the retail ranking after its IPO, overtaking Amazon and adding its $66.4 billion brand value to the sector. Retail is now one of the fastest growth categories alongside technology.

Amazon, the no. 2 retail brand, saw a -3 percent decline in its brand value to $62.3 billion but remains more valuable than Walmart, which it overtook in 2013. Walmart, no. 3 in the retail ranking is worth $35.2 billion and has 11,000 stores worldwide.

Discount retailers, with their value and quality offers have shown strong growth in recent years.  Aldi (no. 8), grew its brand by 22 percent to $11.7 billion and Lidl (no.20), was up 27 percent to $6.0 billion. Advertising focusing on promoting quality produce equal to the major multiples has helped the discounters' value proposition and resulted in a shift in the balance of power. The major supermarkets no longer dominate the retail ranking.

Elspeth Cheung, global BrandZ valuation director at Millward Brown said, "As retailers continue to fight off fierce price competition and operate in a category undergoing a radical transformation, there's an underlying urgency to remain relevant to shoppers. Adopting a shopper-first attitude is not enough; retailers also need to create meaningful and differentiated brands if they want to find a path to growth."

The BrandZ Top 20 Most Valuable Retail Brands 2015

Rank 2015

Brand

Brand value 2015 ($M)

Brand value change

Rank 2014

Rank in global Top 100

1

 Alibaba

66,375

N/A

New

13

2

 Amazon

62,292

-3%

1

14

3

 Walmart

35,245

0%

2

26

4

 The Home Depot

27,705

25%

3

31

5

 Ikea

17,025

-12%

4

64

6

 eBay

14,171

-9%

5

73

7

 Woolworths

11,818

-1%

7

87

8

 Aldi

11,660

22%

8

90

9

 Costco

11,214

19%

9

97

10

 Lowe's

10,756

23%

13

-

11

CVS

10,280

21%

14

-

12

Tesco

9,410

-37%

6

-

13

Walgreens

8,484

2%

15

-

14

Target

8,400

-11%

10

-

15

Carrefour

8,000

-12%

12

-

16

JD.com

7,649

N/A

New

-

17

7-eleven

7,492

N/A

New

-

18

Macys

7,103

N/A

New

-

19

Whole Foods

7,009

-24%

11

-

20

Lidl

6, 031

27%

19

-


Other highlights in the retail ranking included:
  • Convenience trend - Saving shoppers' time and adopting a 'customer-first' attitude continues to boost retail brand values. Supermarkets such as Walmart (no. 3) and 7-Eleven (a new entrant at no. 17) capitalised on this with small format stores whereas Macy's department store (no. 18) also played to this trend as a one stop shop. Amazon (no. 2) experimented in New York with a one-hour delivery service called PrimeNow.
  • Two new brands from China - In addition to no. 1 brand Alibaba, JD.com, a Chinese e-commerce site that processed 689 million orders in 2014 entered the ranking.  The ability of Chinese brands to build brands overseas as well as at home is a common theme across many categories in this year's ranking. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, China is expected to overtake the US as the world's largest overall retail market within five years.
In the BrandZ Top100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking, Apple overtook Google to once again become the world's most valuable brand, increasing its brand value to $247 billion, a rise of 67 percent year on year. Though the AppleWatch has proved extremely popular, Apple's brand value growth has been driven by successful sales of the iPhone 6. Google (no.2) also grew, achieving a 9 percent value increase to reach $173.7 billion. Microsoft, now worth $115.5 billion, is the new no.3, rising one position with value growth of 28 percent.

Technology is the fastest-growing category - up 24 percent in the last year, the tech brands in the Top 100 are worth more than $1 trillion, nearly a third of the value of all brands in the ranking.