Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co.

MILAN — The innovative use of technology to offer customized and engaging shopping experiences, as well as a deeper attention to social and environmental responsibility, are key to today’s retailers, as outlined by the BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands ranking and report for 2019 issued this week.

The list revealed the combined valuations of the world’s top retail brands was up by $339 billions compared to the previous year, totaling $1.4 trillion. E-tail giants Amazon and Alibaba secured the top spots of the ranking, valued at $315.5 billion and $131.2 billion, respectively. Germany-based Zalando also made it to the list for the first year, ranked 62nd with a brand value of $3 billion.

“We are entering the third era of digital retail as human rhythms meet algorithms enabling retailing to be much more digital but appear more human. This year’s rankings also signal the increasing importance of Chinese retailers in online and mobile commerce,” noted David Roth, chief executive officer EMEA and Asia of WPP’s The Store global retail division and chairman of BrandZ.

Among the luxury players, accounting for 13 percent of the value generated by the brands on the list, Louis Vuitton maintained its sixth position for the second year running, with a brand value of $47.2 billion, up 33 percent from last year. Two other French houses followed Vuitton among the luxury players. Chanel with a $37 billion value was ranked eighth while Hermès, which scored the 10th spot, was down one position compared to last year’s ranking with a value of $31 billion.

According to the report, the 11 luxury players ranked in the list, which include Gucci, Rolex, Burberry, Dior, Saint Laurent and Prada, among others, experienced the highest growth rate, up 42 percent compared to 2018.

“At a time when so much attention is on digital-only or digitally focused retailers, these luxury brands are showing that heritage still has a strong role to play in consumers’ lives. This is being done through clever use of digital channels, which have strong appeal among the young,” the report states.

Signaling that the ath-leisure and activewear trends are still holding momentum, Nike, Adidas and Lululemon were the top three retailers of the category, with the premium-priced yogawear-maker scoring the 35th spot with an impressive growth rate of 94 percent to $6.9 billion, compared to last year.

Conversely, fast fashion is losing its edge as both Zara and H&M were down, by 10 percent and 39 percent, respectively, thus sliding through the list, impacted by customers’ rising concern about the cost of producing, transporting and selling disposable products, according to the report.

Compiled annually for the past two years by London-based advertising and public relations agency WPP through its data management subsidiary Kantar, the list highlights the most valuable retail brands by combining market data for the most recent fiscal year, with surveys distributed to more than 3.7 million consumers around the world.

As reported, WPP also issued the BrandZ 2019 Top 30 Most Valuable Italian Brands list, topped by Gucci, which generated a value worth $24.4 billion. Prada, Giorgio Armani, Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Salvatore Ferragamo and Bulgari also made the list, signaling the relevance of Made in Italy luxury players on a global scale.

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