American and European retail brands are leading the global retail sector in bouncing back better from the pandemic, with Amazon (whose brand value is up 38 percent to $350.3 billion) and Walmart (brand value up 20 percent to $111.9 billion) leading the way. In a world of changing customer demand and disrupted supply chains, these big retailers are applying their logistics expertise to adapt in innovative ways. Increasingly, these mega retail brands are bringing logistics operations in-house and using their vertical integration to deliver for customers.
Amazon Retains Title of the Most Valuable Retail Brand
Amazon sits in position as the most valuable retail brand in the world, up 38 percent year-on-year and valued at $350.3 billion. Value has always been a big driver of consumer behavior, but Amazon also delivers a slick shopping experience (website/apps), and this combination is irresistible for many consumers, according to Brand Finance, even those who question Amazon’s values and broader corporate reputation.
Amazon sees logistics as key, developing its own end-to-end supply chain through a growing fleet of trucks, vans, and airplanes in many jurisdictions. Across 2020 and 2021, the brand has invested an estimated $80 billion in its logistics division, compared to $58 billion in the previous five years combined.
“Retail brands globally have been quick to adapt to rapidly changing buying and selling patterns resulting in incredible brand value growth across leading brands,” said Managing Director of Brand Finance Richard Haigh. “The sector tackled shortages caused by the pandemic by innovating with logistics and technology.”
Burlington Is the Fastest Growing Retail Brand
Burlington (brand value up 80 percent to $2.6 billion) is the world’s fastest growing retail brand with an impressive performance over 2021. Burlington achieved a brand value growth of 80 percent year-on-year after being negatively impacted by the pandemic the previous year. The brand was in a phase of recovery, and sales this year have exceeded well beyond pre-pandemic levels in 2021.
The brand is investing in its long-term growth to maintain its streak post COVID-19, according to Brand Finance. The retailer hired experts from Ross Stores to lead this transformation. The brand is heading in the direction of low-price retail giants by boosting sales productivity and inventory turnover by increasing its store count in target markets.
Target Breaks into the Top 10 Retail Brands
Target (brand value up 37 percent to $28.3 billion) enters the top 10 retail brands to become the eighth most valuable brand, up three ranking places from eleventh. Target achieved strong growth during the pandemic as shoppers preferred to minimize multiple shopping trips and Target served as a one-stop-shop for customers for large volumes of grocery shopping.
Like global leaders Amazon and Walmart, the brand has invested heavily in developing its private labels and supply chain partners and is increasing its scale of operations and product offerings significantly. Target has also communicated its goal of being America’s easiest place to shop by introducing its multi-channel shopping options and cementing its identity as a one-stop shop.
7-Eleven Completes Acquisition of Speedway
7-Eleven’s brand value is up 50 percent to $13.7 billion as a result of significant acquisitions and brand growth. The convenience retailer introduced a contactless shopping experience with 7NOW Delivery, its mobile application to ensure safety precautions and delivery for medicines and essential items.
The retailer completed the acquisition of American convenience store Speedway, worth $21 billion. Speedway has over 3,800 stores across the United States, bringing the combined 7-Eleven total to approximately 14,000 convenience stores across North America.
Circle K’s Rebranding Efforts Paying Off
Circle K (brand value up 52 percent to $9 billion) was able to flourish under pandemic conditions. Three years ago, Alimentation Couche-Tard began the project of rebranding their large global portfolio of brands under the Circle K global master brand. The master brand strategy was a bold, expensive, and highly effective decision. Since 2020, the Circle K brand has grown in value by $3.5 billion and is now the world’s 25th most valuable retail brand, rising eight ranking places this year.
The rebrand involved revising licensing agreements, new banners, and brand awareness activities in physical stores and gas stations as well as redesigning the brand’s logo colors among other visual identity changes. This brand strategy was a bold, expensive, but highly effective decision for the brand’s performance globally.
View the full Brand Finance Retail 100 report here.