BrandZ Retail Ranking shines spotlight on brands most resilient to impacts of coronavirus

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  • The total value of BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands reaches $1.5 trillion

  • Amazon grows 32% to $415.9 billion to remain the world’s most valuable retail brand, commanding 27% of the Top 75’s total brand value

  • Coronavirus highlights the sector’s pivotal role in the global economy as retailers face supply and demand challenges that require innovation and agile response

BrandZ Retail Ranking shines spotlight on brands most resilient to impacts of coronavirus - Brand Spur

London – The third annual BrandZTM Top 75 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands Ranking, unveiled today by WPP and Kantar, reveals that the value of the world’s top 75 retail brands has grown 12% to $1.5 trillion in the past year. The report is being launched in conjunction with the World Retail Congress.

The report provides an indication of the brands that are most likely to prevail in a post-coronavirus market and uses valuations data incorporating stock price performance from April 2020 to reflect the impact of COVID-19. It also drives home to the retail sector’s pivotal role in the global economy as brands to respond to shifts in consumer behaviour while facing business-critical changes to supply and demand and a restricted ability to trade.

BrandZ is the only brand valuation ranking to combine analysis of retailers’ financial performance with the opinions of millions of consumers surveyed in more than 51 markets around the world. Historical BrandZ data confirms that brands with the strongest brand equity recovered nine times faster following the financial crisis of 2008.

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“The coronavirus crisis underscores the essential role that retail plays in both our daily lives and the overall global economy; we are seeing some heroic examples of retail companies stepping up to meet consumer needs and keep the world turning. While this is a fast-moving and ongoing story, the report allows us to show the businesses that, having invested in becoming a strong brand, are potentially better able to withstand the current shock. Twenty-two years of BrandZ data analysis consistently confirms that strong brands help their businesses to survive turbulent times,” said David Roth, CEO of The Store WPP EMEA and Asia and Chairman of BrandZ.

The 2020 BrandZ retail report highlights the actions agile and innovative retail brands are taking to make a difference to the lives of people confined to their homes and forced to change their habits; experience and data show brands that maintain their visibility in a relevant and sensitive way throughout a crisis are best-placed for a faster recovery.

The top retailers in the 2020 ranking illustrate the scale and breadth of activity making brands meaningfully different and salient to consumers in the coronavirus age: Amazon (No. 1, $415.9 billion) is managing demand and reducing its speed of delivery to prioritize key products; Alibaba (No. 2, $152.5 billion) subsidiary Ali Cloud used its AI expertise to help medics in China significantly shorten the coronavirus diagnosis time; Louis Vuitton (No.5, $51.8 billion) parent company LVMH took only 72 hours to convert its production lines to make hand sanitizer; and Chinese e-commerce brand JD (No. 13, $25.5 billion) delivered medical supplies and food using its extensive distribution network.

Athletic apparel company Lululemon (No. 25, $9.7 billion) grew 40% to become the ranking’s highest riser; current activity includes offering online training programs, a purposeful marketing tactic to keep it front-of-mind that has also been adopted by Adidas (No. 18, $14.8 billion).

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Otherwise, the fastest riser category is dominated by pure retail as grocery outlets see a boom in demand as people stock up. Unsurprisingly, the digital-native brands scored highly – Amazon, JD and Alibaba were up 32%, 24% and 16% respectively – but physical retail veterans also showed their ability to adapt to an online-only environment. Costco (No. 11 $28.7 billion) grew 35%, Target (No. 23, $10.6 billion) was up 27%, Walmart (No. 8, $45.8 billion) increased 24% and Sam’s Club (No. 36, $6.8 billion) rose 19%.

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Smart retailers are also resisting the temptation to cut back on advertising investment, learning lessons from China were brands that ‘went dark’ are struggling to reconnect during the early stages of recovery as consumers opt for those that actively demonstrated support. Marketing is being adapted as people are confined to staying indoors, with the tone of voice being as important as the media mix.

Graham Staplehurst, Global Strategy Director for BrandZ at Kantar, said: “Brand value isn’t just determined by financial performance, but also by reputation in the eyes of consumers. How retailers behave now in terms of helping people through the crisis, as well as the way in which they treat their staff and whether they comply with government and health advice, will be important to their survival. Those that have actively demonstrated their relevance and usefulness and continue to do so as consumers’ lives start to get back to normal, will be best-placed to strengthen customer relationships both in the recovery phase and the long-term.”

The BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable Retail Brands 2020

Rank 2020 Brand Brand value 2020 ($bn) Category Rank 2019
1 Amazon 415.9 Retail 1
2 Alibaba 152.5 Retail 2
3 McDonald’s 129.3 Fast Food 3
4 The Home Depot 57.6 Retail 4
5 Louis Vuitton 51.8 Luxury 6
6 Nike 50.0 Apparel 5
7 Starbucks 47.8 Fast Food 7
8 Walmart 45.8 Retail 9
9 Chanel 36.1 Luxury 8
10 Hermès 33.0 Luxury 10
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Highlights in this year’s BrandZ Retail ranking include:

  • The strongest got stronger: The Top 10 brands in the ranking outpaced the rest of the sector, posting an average rise in brand value of 16.4%. Amazon’s growth sees it account for 27% of the Top 75’s total brand value while robust performances by other Top 10 brands such as Alibaba show that strong brands can do more than get by; they can redefine what is possible.
  • Sector leaders continued to dominate: McDonald’s (No. 3, $129.3 billion) is by far the most valuable Fast Food brand in the world, although others enjoyed rapid growth, thanks largely to delivery and other service innovations such as AI-powered suggestions at drive-throughs and delivery partnerships behind incremental orders. Louis Vuitton is the most valuable Luxury brand, with a new global flagship store in Seoul and creative partnerships with major artists while Nike (No. 6, $50.0 billion) leads the Apparel category with e-commerce, product customization and collaborations driving strong sales.
  • Five new entrants: Three Japanese brands make their debut in this year’s ranking; online fashion store Zozotown (No. 52, $4.5 billion), retail network Aeon (No. 64, $2.9 billion), and convenience store company Family Mart (No. 75, $2.4 billion). China’s e-commerce platform Pinduoduo (No. 26, $9.4 billion) is the highest new entry, following the success of its online group-buying model; Bunnings hardware chain from Australia (No. 69, $2.7 billion) is the fourth new entry.

The Top 75 Most Valuable Global Retail Brands was due to be launched at the 2020 World Retail Congress (WRC), originally scheduled for 28 April and now taking place 28-30 October. BrandZ continues to partner with WRC, launching the retail report via a bespoke digital experience.

Ian McGarrigle, Chairman of the World Retail Congress, said: “Retail has been on the frontline during the coronavirus lockdown, with millions of workers putting themselves at risk to serve their communities. Without their selfless effort, the situation would be much worse and consumers will remember the brands and the staff who enabled society to continue to function. It highlights retail’s undisputed place at the cornerstone of people’s lives all around the world.”

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BrandZ Retail Ranking shines spotlight on brands most resilient to impacts of coronavirus - Brand SpurBrandZ Retail Ranking shines spotlight on brands most resilient to impacts of coronavirus - Brand Spur

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BrandZ Retail Ranking shines spotlight on brands most resilient to impacts of coronavirus - Brand SpurBrandZ Retail Ranking shines spotlight on brands most resilient to impacts of coronavirus - Brand Spur

Latest News

Cityneon Raises S$235 Million; Well Positioned for Next Growth Chapter

  • The global experience entertainment company gets a S$235 million shot in the arm, closes its private fund raising in April 2021
  • Investors both new and existing include Singapore's Pavilion Capital, Seatown Holdings International and EDBI, Qatar's Doha Venture Capital and financial institutions and family offices in Singapore and China
  • These now join other existing Cityneon shareholders CITIC Capital, veteran entrepreneur and investor Mr. Johnson Ko, and Executive Chairman & Group CEO Mr. Ron Tan
  • Funding comes just after the Group acquired multi-year licensing rights for James Cameron's AVATAR touring exhibition, and two original artefacts IP on the ancient civilization Machu Picchu from Peru and Ramses the Great (Ramses II) from Egypt
  • Investments position the Group well to bring experiences across the globe, targeting to launch six experiences in China and five in the U.S. by the end of 2021, with more in other parts of the world

SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 21 April 2021 - Cityneon Holdings ("Cityneon", the "Company"/collectively with its subsidiaries, the "Group") raised S$235 million in the most recent round of private funding. The latest round of funding adds seasoned investors to Cityneon's already strong stable of shareholders.

This funding round was led by Singapore's Pavilion Capital, Seatown Holdings International, EDBI, and Cityneon's Executive Chairman & Group CEO, Mr. Ron Tan. EDBI and Pavilion Capital are existing shareholders of Cityneon whilst new investors include Seatown Holdings International, Qatar's Doha Venture Capital, which will now own approximately 4 per cent of the Group, and other financial institutions and family offices in Singapore and China.

These now join other existing Cityneon shareholders CITIC Capital, veteran entrepreneur and investor Mr. Johnson Ko, and Executive Chairman & Group CEO Mr. Ron Tan to form a new and strong shareholder base for the Group. Mr. Johnson Ko and Mr. Ron Tan remain as the largest shareholders of the company via their combined entity, West Knighton Limited.

The Group is now well positioned for its next growth chapter and will use the proceeds for capital expenditure that includes building more of its various intellectual property (IP) exhibition sets, totaling 24 travelling and four semi-permanent sets under the Studio IP partnerships and three travelling sets under the original artefact IP partnerships by the end of 2022.

Already, the Group just signed its fifth IP rights with Avatar from 20th Century Studios last year. Amidst the anticipation from Avatar fans worldwide, Cityneon will debut a multi-sensory Avatar exhibition in Chengdu, China in May 2021, ahead of the Avatar movie sequel which is slated for release in 2022. Avatar is the world's top grossing film of all time at over US$2.8 billion, and adding millions more after its successful re-release in China in March 2021. Avatar's director James Cameron has announced that he will be producing four sequels with 20th Century Studios, with the first sequel slated for release next year. Disney acquired 20th Century Studios for US$71 billion in 2019.

The Company also recently entered the original artefacts IPs space and will stage international exhibitions of the treasures of the ancient civilization Machu Picchu from Peru in Boca Raton, Florida and Pharaoh Ramses II from Egypt in Houston, Texas. These two experiences will start welcoming visitors in October and November 2021, respectively.

Other IP rights that the Group holds include partnerships with Universal Studios for Jurassic World: The Exhibition, Marvel for Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N., Lionsgate for The Hunger Games: The Exhibition and Hasbro for Transformers Autobot Alliance. All in, Cityneon holds the IP rights for five of the top 10 worldwide box office hits and two artefacts IP from Peru and Egypt. The Group expects to have six sets of its various IP rights travelling across China, and five travelling and permanent sets in the United States, with a few more in other parts of the globe.

The Group will also be reopening experiences that were temporarily closed in 2020, aiming to provide visitors with a safe entertainment option. These include the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. in Toronto, Canada that will be re-opening in May 2021; and the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. exhibition in Lotte Mall in Seoul, Korea in April 2021; the same exhibition space which previously housed Jurassic World: The Exhibition, another IP experience exhibition by the Group in 2019. In the past month, the Group also witnessed record visitor numbers at their semi-permanent installations in Las Vegas, USA, signaling a strong comeback and demand for their immersive experiences, as they step into the 6th year of operations there.

While there are exciting plans lined up, the Group is not resting on its laurels. More Hollywood IPs and artefact IPs can be expected, and there will be further announcements on new IP verticals in entertainment experiences that the Group is looking to enter.

Mr. Ron Tan, Executive Chairman & Group CEO of Cityneon, said: "It is exciting that the Company is going through such strategic expansion as one of the largest providers of exhibition entertainment experiences globally. The S$235 million funding round sets a solid foundation for us to invest in developing more of our entertainment experiences, to stage even more exhibitions of the five box office hits and two artefact IPs that we hold the rights to all over the world. I'm thankful that our strong investors base, now from Singapore, Hong Kong, China and the Middle East, have trust in our vision, and believe alongside us that this space of big ideas and big experiences will only grow."

By the end of this year, Cityneon will arguably be the largest provider of exhibition entertainment experiences internationally; with global footprints in more than 50 cities and welcoming 10 million unique visitors across the world by 2022.

Cityneon Holdings

With its global reach and international partnerships, Cityneon has the capability to serve its clients anywhere in the world. Cityneon was listed on the Mainboard of the Singapore Stock Exchange since 2005, and was privatized on February 2019 by West Knighton Limited, a company wholly owned by Cityneon's Executive Chairman and Group CEO, Ron Tan, together with Hong Kong veteran entrepreneur and investor, Johnson Ko Chun Shun. Johnson is a capital markets veteran and has held controlling interests and directorships in many listed companies. In May 2019, Cityneon welcomed CITIC Capital as a new shareholder, who holds approximately 10% shares in Cityneon. CITIC Capital is part of CITIC Group, one of China's largest conglomerates, and has over US$25b of assets under its management across 100 funds and investment products globally. Other institutional shareholders of the Group include EDBI - a Singapore government-linked global investor, and Pavilion Capital - a Singapore-based investment institution which focuses on private equity investments, that made strategic investments in August and October 2019 respectively, to support the Group's further expansion globally. For more information, please visit www.cityneongroup.com.


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