Global retailers booming as price wars make way for innovation wars

17 Apr 2018

Amazon, McDonald’s & Alibaba top inaugural WPP BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands Ranking

World Retail Congress, Madrid - 17 April 2018 - The most valuable retail brands in the world are growing their brand value at a pace that outstrips brands in other business sectors – despite seismic shifts in consumers’ habits, priorities and expectations of the shopping experience. This is according to the inaugural BrandZ™ Top 75 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands ranking announced today by WPP with data prepared by Kantar.

The ranking shows that while store closures often grab headlines, those retailers rising to the challenges of the current climate are innovating their way out of trouble, and winning consumers’ hearts in the process.

Together, the BrandZ Top 75 Retail Brands – from markets as diverse as the US and Spain, China and Chile – are worth over $1 trillion in brand value. The ranking was launched in conjunction with the World Retail Congress, on the first day the 2018 Congress in Madrid.

For the first time in a BrandZ retail ranking, the Top 75 brings together brands in four categories, of which Pure Retail (supermarkets, e-commerce platforms, department stores, convenience stores and DIY chains) is just one. The ranking includes brands of Luxury brands, Apparel, and Fast Food retailers.

“Shopping is no just longer just about buying things,” said David Roth, CEO of WPP The Store, EMEA and Asia.

“Often, a decision to shop is a search for entertainment – whether in a physical space or the virtual world. It can be a way of spending time with like-minded people, or being in an environment that reflects an individual’s values.” said Roth.

“Shopping is also a way of simply feeling good – what we used to call ‘retail therapy’. This explains why the BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands includes brands specializing in everything from business suits and bras to bath oil and burritos. Today everyone is a retailer.” Roth said.

The BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands 2017 Top 20
2018 Rank Brand Brand Value ($ US Million)
1 Amazon $165,256
2 McDonald’s $110,266
3 Alibaba $88,623
4 Starbucks $46,071
5 The Home Depot $41,866
6 Louis Vuitton $35,505
7 Nike $34,295
8 Walmart $27,585
9 Hermes $25,951
10 Zara $25,135
11 Subway $19,529
12 Ikea $18,944
13 Costco $16,785
14 Gucci $16,273
15 $14,579
16 Chanel $13,394
17 ebay $12,962
18 KFC $12,895
19 Aldi $12,893
20 Lowe’s $12,115

The BrandZ Top 75 Retail Brands report shows how retail brands are seeking new ways to connect with consumers, through unique experiences and products customized for groups of shoppers and individuals.

Leading brands are identifying new shopping missions and fresh ways to build loyalty. And while competitive pressures for many years led inevitably to price wars, now there are innovation wars.

“A global brand today can no longer just be about longevity, because a new concept, platform or product can gain an almost immediate global following,” said Ian McGarrigle, Chairman of the World Retail Congress. “Retail brands are being forced to adapt and innovate at incredible speeds. What this report shows is that they are doing exactly that.”

Highlights from the BrandZ Top 75 report:

  • Retail brands have been growing value 35% faster over 10 years than non-retailers
  • Innovation in services, linking online and offline, is helping brands stand out
  • “A good deal” has overtaken “low prices” as shoppers’ biggest priority
  • Having a stress-free experience is almost as important as price
  • Personalization is helping brands justify a premium and avoid price wars
  • Voice-controlled devices promise to transform consumer loyalty
  • China is showing what’s possible in speed, online with offline and seamless shopping

The report features in-depth analysis of the strengths of each of the BrandZ Top 75 brands, commentary from sector leaders from around the world, insights about the future of retail across the globe and observations from WPP company retail experts around the world.

The unique BrandZ calculation of brand value links financial performance with the opinions of millions of consumers surveyed in more than 50 markets around the world.

For the full BrandZ Top 75 global retail report and analysis click here.

For the complete list of the BrandZ Top 75 brands click here.

For interviews and more information, contact:

Sarah Cousins
[email protected]
Tel: +44 7527797126


About WPP

WPP is the world leader in communications services with global billings of US$72 billion and revenues of almost US$20 billion. The group provides a comprehensive range of services including advertising & media investment management; data investment management; public relations & public affairs; branding & identity; healthcare communications; digital, eCommerce and shopper marketing; and specialist communications. WPP employs over 200,000 people (including associates and investments) across 112 countries. For more information, visit

WPP was named Holding Company of the Year at the 2017 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the seventh year running. It was also named, for the sixth consecutive year, the World’s Most Effective Holding Company in the 2017 Effie Index, which recognizes the effectiveness of marketing communications.

Background and methodology

The research behind the BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands 2018 and the brand valuations was conducted by Kantar Millward Brown, using the BrandZ™ methodology. The methodology mirrors that used to calculate the annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking which is now in its twelfth year.

The BrandZ rankings are the only valuations in the world that take into account what people think about the brands they buy, alongside rigorous analysis of financial data, market valuations, analyst reports and risk profiles. Consumer perception of a brand is a key input in determining brand value, because brands are a combination of business performance, product delivery, clarity of positioning and leadership.

Consumer perception is used to determine the Brand Contribution, which measures the proportion of brand influence on financial value on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being highest). It is an assessment of brand associations in consumers’ minds to deliver sales by predisposing consumers to choose the brand or pay more for it.

Commissioned by WPP, the ranking is unique. Combining financial data from Kantar Worldpanel with consumer opinions makes it the most robust ranking of Retail Brands available.