Pureplay giant Amazon is the world’s most valuable retail brand, according to a new study. The retailer is worth $47.5bn, 34% more than at the same time last year, according to the Millward Brown Optimor BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Brands study, in which it is placed at number 14, overall.
The global ranking puts Apple, worth $185bn, in first place, followed by Google ($114bn) and IBM ($112bn).
While Amazon has overtaken fellow US retailer Walmart ($36.2bn, +5%) to head the list of brands that are primarily retail-focused, UK multichannel retailer Tesco comes in fifth place, despite losing 9% of its value over the last year to be worth $16.3bn, according to the study.
Other European brands in the top 10 retailers included Ikea, eBay and Aldi.
Robin Headlee, vice president of Millward Brown Optimor, said: “Amazon has retaken the top spot by putting the customer first. This year’s ranking shows that consumers are recognising the efficiency and good value they get from large retailers but our analysis reveals that brands’ desire, trust and user recommendation ratings have declined slightly in the retail category.
“To get to and stay at the top, a retailer also needs a strong, consistently executed promise and they must be innovative and responsive in creating ‘meaningful difference’ that makes them personally relevant to consumers.”
The BrandZ Top 5 most valuable retail brands of 2013
1. Amazon $45.7bn
2. Walmart $36.2bn
3. The Home Depot $18.5bn
4. Ebay $17.7bn
5. Tesco $16.3bn
Source: Millward Brown Optimor BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Brands
The study comes as the debate intensifies in the UK about the tax paid by many global brands, including online retailers. Both Amazon and Google have been questioned in the UK Parliament on their tax affairs. Objections have been raised to measures that see their European operations headquartered in low-tax areas of the EU. Both have corporate structures that mean most of their European tax bills are paid in Luxembourg (Amazon) and Ireland (Google) rather than in countries, including the UK, where many of their day-to-day operations take place.