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Walmart Tops In Brand Value: Report

Dayton, Ohio — Walmart retained its No. 1 ranking as the world’s most valuable retail brand, a new report shows.

According to the fourth annual “Best Retail Brands” study, produced by consultancy Interbrand, the worth of the discount chain’s nameplate dipped 6 percent in 2013, but still readily topped all others with a valuation of $131.9 billion.

Interbrand calculates brand value by considering the retailer’s financial performance, the role the brand plays in the purchase decision, and the competitive strength of the brand.

Trailing Walmart in North America was Target, ranked second with a brand value of $27.1 billion, an 8 percent decline; The Home Depot, ranked third with $25.7 billion in brand value, a 12 percent increase; and, which came in fourth place with $23.6 billion in brand value, a 27 percent gain.

Among the Top 50 retail brands, Amazon tied outdoor recreation chain Cabela’s in growth, although the top gainer was 16th-place Macy’s, whose brand value rose 38 percent last year to $6 billion, Interbrand said.

Conversely, Best Buy, which as recently as 2009 was the second most valuable retail brand in the U.S. after Walmart, last year saw the biggest drop in brand value – 41 percent, to $4.8 billion, placing it at No. 20.  According to Interbrand, weak online sales and online competition chipped away at the chain’s dominion.

Indeed, the entire specialty CE sector, if not all of brick-and-mortar retail, is challenged by fierce online price competition, waning customer loyalty and shrinking profit margins, the consultancy said. But Best Buy and other CE retailers are beginning to fight back with in-store price matching, online payment options (like RadioShack’s in-store acceptance of PayPal), and by creating novel, dramatic or interactive showroom presentations (like Best Buy’s Samsung shops)  in order to transform the expensive liabilities of physical locations into assets.

Other ranking retail brands that sell CE included Staples (No. 19), down 11 percent to $4.9 billion; Sam’s Club (No. 7), flat at $13.5 billion; and Costco (No. 13), up 13 percent to $8.3 billion.

RadioShack, which was cited for its innovative use of PayPal in stores, failed to crack the Top 50.