The U.S.' 10 Most Valuable Retail Brands of 2013

Recently, brand consultancy Interbrand came out with its report on the 50 most valuable U.S. retail brands of 2013. Read on to find out the top 10.

So how did Interbrand determine their value? In short, Interbrand looks at three key aspects. First is the financial performance of the branded products or services. Interbrand only considers companies with publicly available data that are creating economic value (meaning a positive EBITDA) and generating a minimum of 50% of their sales from their retail stores (this excludes Apple).

The other two aspects Interbrand considers are the role of the brand in the purchase decision process and the strength of the brand -- meaning, "the ability of the brand to create loyalty and, therefore, to keep generating demand and profit into the future."

Here are Interbrand's 10 most valuable U.S. retail brands of 2013:

Rank

Company

Brand Value
(in billions)

Change From 2012

1

Wal-Mart

$141.0

1%

2

Target

$25.0

7%

3

Home Depot 

$22.9

4%

4

Amazon.com

$18.6

46%

5

CVS

$15.9

(8%)

6

Coach

$14.6

8%

7

Walgreen

$14.4

(4%)

8

Sam's Club (a subsidiary of Wal-Mart)

$13.5

5%

9

eBay

$10.9

12%

10

Nordstrom

$10.1

7%

Source: Interbrand.

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) is the most valuable retail brand in the U.S. by a factor of five. Remarkably, Wal-Mart subsidiary Sam's Club is the eighth most valuable retail brand in the U.S. Wal-Mart established itself as the dominant low-cost retailer over decades by constantly improving on its processes and supply chain skills under the leadership of Sam Walton. While Sam is no longer with us, Wal-Mart continues to thrive and his family leadership continues today under Chairman S. Robson Walton.

Many people don't realize the difference in size between Wal-Mart and other retailers. The company's sales for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2013, were $275 billion in the U.S. Compare that to the second most valuable retail brand in the U.S., Target (NYSE: TGT  ) , with sales of just $72 billion. Even Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) , 2013's fastest-growing major brand, only did $35 billion in sales in the U.S. in the past year.

Notably absent from the top 10 this year is Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) , which moved from fifth in 2012 to 13th in 2013 as the company's brand value dropped 52% to $8 billion. The electronics retailer had a tough 2012 as shoppers treated its stores as showrooms and then used apps to buy goods cheaper online from Amazon and eBay. In the past, both online retailers benefited from not having to collect state sales taxes, but that advantage is slowly ending.

Best Buy is slowly turning things around this year. It announced in February a policy to match prices found online, and earlier this month that Samsung would open "Samsung Experience Shops" in more than 1,400 Best Buy stores over the next few months. We'll have to wait a year or two to see if those efforts pay off.

Foolish bottom line
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