High Street

Most valuable UK retailers ‘falling behind’ global rivals, study finds

The value growth of the UK’s top retail brands is “falling behind” that of the leading global retail brands, according to Kantar’s ‘2019 BrandZTM Top 75 Most Valuable UK Brands’ ranking. 

While the UK retailers in the Top 75 grew their combined value by 4% over the last year, their performance is “significantly lower” than that of the retail brands in the BrandZ Global Top 100, which grew by 25%. 

Kantar revealed the figures also represent a slowdown compared with the UK retailers’ 2018 value growth of 11%. 

Some 14 retail brands were found to have made the ranking: Tesco, Next, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Ocado, Boots, Co-op, Very, Waitrose, John Lewis, WHSmith and littlewoods.com. 

Tesco was found to be the most valuable UK retail brand (no.7) worth $9.2bn (£7.4bn), followed by Next (no.22), Asda (no.23), Sainsbury’s (no.24) and Marks & Spencer (no.27).

Online-only players Ocado and Very experienced the highest levels of growth – by 35% and 21% respectively. Without which, Kantar said the combined value of the UK’s top retail brands would have increased by just 2%. 

Of the retailers in the Global Top 100, Amazon was the biggest hitter, increasing its value by 52% to $315.5bn (£255.4bn).

The BrandZ Top 10 most valuable UK retail brands 2019 

Rank 2019 Brand Brand value 2019 (US$bn) Brand value change Rank 2018
7 Tesco $9.2 +1% 7
22 Next $2.8 +4% 25
23 Asda $2.8 +8% 28
24 Sainsbury’s $2.8 +4% 26
27 Marks & Spencer $2.5 -18% 22
33 Morrisons $2.1 +6% 36
34 Ocado $2.0 +35% 49
40 Boots $1.7 -7% 39
45 Co-Op $1.5 +2% 48
52 Very $1.3 +21% 58


Kantar added that a record number (net 2,481) of well-known names disappeared from the UK’s top 500 high streets in 2018, including Maplin, Toys R Us and Poundworld. 

Henry Heywood, head of brand at Kantar, said that some of the UK’s retail brands are “living off  their fame” and are no longer “distinctive or relevant” to consumers. 

He said: “To avoid losing more ground, retailers must reinvigorate themselves – invest in long-term brand building, by communicating to a less engaged, less loyal and more demanding consumer about why they are still relevant.”

Heywood added: “While the death of the physical store is exaggerated, traditional retailers are having to reinvent themselves for a new generation of shoppers, connecting digital platforms and online experiences with the physical offline experience. 

“But now with the advent of online to offline, such as the launch of the Amazon Clicks and Mortar initiative in Manchester, there will be additional pressure on an already beleaguered high street.”

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