BOSTON, June 29, 2010—A newly released study by Kantar Retail and BrandZ examines the most valuable global retail brands and reveals critical success requirements for retailers and suppliers to thrive in the new retail environment. The Top 20 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands report combines retailer and shopper insights and analyses from Kantar Retail with the definitive Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking produced annually by Millward Brown Optimor and powered by the BrandZ database.

“This report helps illuminate the radical changes reshaping retail as shoppers, chastened by the recession and empowered with technology, think differently about what and how they purchase,” comments Wayne Levings, CEO of Kantar Retail. “Brand is a prerequisite of retail success,” Levings adds. “How retailers build their brands impacts all aspects of their business. Brand alone secures an enduring place in the mind of the consumer. It is fundamental to the supplier-retailer relationship.”

The Top 20 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands report examines industry trends and other dynamics that drove overall retail industry brand value and the value of individual retail brands last year. “During periods of economic uncertainty, consumers and businesses increasingly rely on strong brands for the reassurance and reliability they represent. Knowing the value of this intangible asset helps corporate leadership and stakeholders make more informed decisions,” Levings notes.

While the Top 10 most valuable global retail brands have remained quite consistent during the past five years, two instances of dramatic brand value growth—at Amazon and ALDI—reflect major marketplace trends. On the strength of a 359% increase in brand value, Amazon moved from a ranking of Number 8 in 2006 to Number 2 in 2010, indicating the revolutionary impact of e-commerce. ALDI’s 241% increase in brand value signifies the consumer’s increased concern with price and embracement of private label.

The retail brand that grew most in value last year was Amazon. While the retail category as a whole declined 1 percentage point in brand value, the value of the Amazon brand appreciated 29 percentage points to $27.5 billion, making it one of the fastest growing global brands across all categories and moving it into second place behind Walmart. Walmart’s brand value declined slightly last year to $39.4 billion.

The Top 20 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands includes:

An interpretation of how post-recession consumer attitudes and behaviors and emerging trends will continue to reshape retailing,

Provocative commentaries exploring the impact of e-commerce and the enduring power and profitability of brands,

Profiles of the Top 20 most valuable global retail brands,

And critical takeaways for retailers and suppliers recommending specific practical actions to help assure success in the post-recession retail environment.

“Competitive advantage in retailing no longer can be accomplished by saturating markets with stores and attracting customers with a combination of range, price and service,” notes Bryan Gildenberg, Chief Knowledge Officer for Kantar Retail and major contributor to the report. “Success requires a thoughtful portfolio of shopping venues—both physical and virtual—that appeal to specific shopper segments. Every retail brand needs to find a proposition that makes visiting these retail spaces worth the shopper’s time,” he adds.

Key report takeaways:

Value remains critical. Brands that combined value with a more emotion-based connection to consumers did well last year. That ability will continue to be key to engaging post-recession shoppers.

Successful retail brands increasingly will be built on intimate knowledge of shopping behavior. Retailers that invest in this capability will thrive.

The battle for shopping trips will drive competitive strategy coming out of the recession. Retailers will fight to keep shopping trips gained during the downturn by keeping shoppers from returning to the outlets they abandoned.

Mobile commerce will be a game changer in how, when and where shoppers purchase products.

Brands must become active participants in digital conversations surrounding purchases or risk becoming irrelevant.

Best-in-class retailers will maximize share of wallet from their most profitable shoppers.

To download the complete BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2010 report click here or paste into your web browser. To download the BrandZ smart phone apps for iPhone, Blackberry and Nokia click here or paste into your web browser.