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This Brand Beat Zara for World’s Most Valuable Apparel Retailer

Move over Hugo Boss and Tommy Hilfiger; there are new, more valuable apparel brands in town.

The former big guns of the brand world are slowly slipping down the ranks of most valuable as savvier, leaner challenger companies shake up the space.

In Millward Brown’s BrandZ most valuable brand ranking for 2016, apparel—despite what quarterly reports might say—was the fastest growing category, up 14 percent to $114 billion. But the brands that made the list aren’t the staid department stores consumers have increasingly become bored with.

Nike topped the list as the most valuable apparel brand at $37.5 billion, a 26 percent increase in brand value. Zara followed in second, then H&M and Uniqlo, the same top four brands as in 2015.

Under Armour and Victoria’s Secret, however, were new entrants to the list and ousted Hugo Boss and Tommy Hilfiger in the process. The Kevin Plank-run brand took the fifth spot among the 10 top retailers, valued at $6.7 billion, with Victoria’s Secret right behind.

Adidas, Next, Ralph Lauren and Lululemon rounded out the list, and not one department store was ranked.

“There is an emphasis on high performance, with brands including Nike and Under Armour (a new entry) launching specialist premium lines, incorporating technology such as heart monitors into their clothing, and integrating sportswear with free apps to provide a total consumer experience,” the report noted.

Simply put, it’s disruption that’s driving value these days.

“The categories that increased in value were all either shaken up by challenger brands founded on a unique and meaningful proposition, such as Under Armour and Victoria’s Secret in the apparel category, or innovated to a high degree in response to a new trend,” according to the report.

For retail overall, Amazon was the most valuable brand in the world at $98.98 billion, a 59 percent year-over-year increase in brand value. Alibaba held the top spot last year, but has since taken a hit with its brand value plummeting 26 percent to $49.29 billion. Walmart came fourth on the list and Target fourteenth.

Department stores faired only slightly better among retail overall, with Macy’s coming in at No. 20 of the Top 20, but no others made the list.

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“The ability to drive seamless multichannel strategies was a key factor behind the success of many of the brands that have grown their value in this year’s Retail Top 20,” according to the report. “This is a process that will have to continue as the sector adapts to a consumer audience that no longer distinguishes between shopping on and off-line and expects the same brand experience and quality of service in all channels.”

BrandZ Most Valuable Brands 2016
Source: BrandZ