Top retailers and online sales 2012

Possibly the first 2012 “top/best” list has just appeared and is from Interbrand.  It’s their Best RETAIL Brands 2012

Other country/regional listings are (alphabetically):

  • Asia Pacific    1 Woolworths  2 Uniqlo                   3 Harvey Norman
  • France           1 Carrefour       2 Auchan                 3 Leroy Merlin
  • Germany        1 Aldi              2 Edeka                  3 Lidl
  • Spain             1 Zara              2 El Corte Ingles      3 Mango
  • USA               1 Walmart        2 Target                   3 The Home Depot

The full report can be downloaded as a pdf with all the other runners riders and form. There is also a very useful web section on the research (scroll down for the interactive elements).

We found it interesting that Spain was the exception (with a fashion retailer) up top as opposed to the predictable supermarket winners in all the other countries.

Interbrands criteria for inclusion is: “ a brand must generate at least 50% of its revenues from sales through its branded retail stores and websites. For example while Apple was considered it failed to meet this requirement. In addition we limit the list to those stores and e-commerce sites that sell goods. In order to focus on traditional retail, we have excluded, restaurants, auto dealerships, service providers and gas stations.”

We of course are disappointed at Apples exclusion but we suppose if you have definitions then ….. An interesting point they make is that Walmarts revenues represent 1.7% of US GDP. We have done a very quick calculation on Apples equivalent percentage from its 2011 US sales and reckon it’s between 0.25% and 0.3%!

The only sole “e-commerce” sites we noticed were (9 in the USA) and eBay (10 in the USA) although we suspect that virtually all of them will have, at least an online presence, and many eg Tesco will have huge and growing revenues from this source. In fact the future could see some, if not many, of their stores becoming simply distribution centres for their online activities, particularly the out-of-town (ie lower cost) ones.

We are not over keen on the e-commerce  term which presumably includes the equally disliked m-commerce ! Our preference like ComScore  (the US research organisation) is  “online sales”.

As we keep mentioning  retail online sales trends warrant much greater attention and analysis. They are the future. They already, in the UK, represent over 10% of  all retail sales (which themselves are a huge constituent of overall GDP). They are also growing, we calculate, at over 25% pa compound.

Click to enlarge

Further confirmation of online sales comparative explosive growth comes from BDO’s High Street Sales tracker. On inspection we initially thought that non-store, which are substantially online, sales (eg other constituents are small & mail order is contracting) were the highest growth rate element of sales in 19 out of  the last 24 months. Then we saw the right hand scale which not only moves the months up to 24 (ie 100%)  but has online growth rates of over 30% in 16 out of the 24 months. None of the other sectors achieved this in any month. The highest online sales growth rate was over 50%. Non online was just over 15% on a couple of occasions.

We are sure there are difficulties, for both Government (ie the ONS) and commercial research organisations, in tracking reporting and publicising the online sales explosion but it must & will happen.

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