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Nike named world’s most valuable apparel brand for seventh consecutive year

Total value of world’s top 50 most valuable apparel brands has declined by 8% as sector negotiates fallout from pandemic, new Brand Finance report shows.

Nike has been named the World’s Most Valuable Apparel Brand for the seventh consecutive year, according to the latest report from Brand Finance.

Despite recording a 13% brand value drop to $30.4 billion, Nike has maintained a considerable lead over second-ranked Gucci, with a brand value of $15.6 billion (down 12% from 2020).

While Nike’s sales took a hit from the closure of the majority of its stores across the US, EMEA and Asia Pacific last year due to the pandemic, it saw an impressive uptick in online sales which almost doubled in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The total value of the world’s top 50 most valuable apparel brands has declined by 8%, decreasing from US$301.9 billion in 2020 to US$276.4 billion in 2021, according to the Brand Finance Apparel 50 2021 report.

“2020 was undoubtedly a tough year for the apparel sector,” commented Richard Haigh, md of Brand Finance. “Global and widespread economic disruption caused a sharp decrease in demand and lockdown-induced store closures forced brands to digitalise quickly or face dire consequences to sales and profits.

“Despite the total brand value of the world’s top 50 most valuable apparel brands declining 8% year on year, on the whole we have witnessed remarkable agility and innovation across the sector, which will no doubt stand brands in good stead in the coming year.”

ApparelBF

The apparel ranking is divided into sub sectors: luxury; sportswear; fast fashion; watches, accessories & jewellery; high street designer; underwear; and footwear.

Of these sub sectors footwear is the only one to record an increase in brand value year-on-year, posting a 9% increase in brand value on average.

New entrants Timberland and Converse have performed particularly well this year, recording a 47% and 8% brand value increase, respectively. Nike-owned Converse saw a modest uplift in sales last year, due to an increase in demand in Europe, as well has higher global digital sales.

In contrast, underwear brands have suffered the most significantly this year, with the two brands featured in the ranking losing an average of 19% of brand value. Victoria’s Secret (brand value down 22% to US$4.2 billion) is the third fastest falling brand in the ranking, for example.

The other sub sectors also fare less favourably this year, all recording drops in average total brand value: luxury (down 10%); sportswear (down 7%); fast fashion (down 7%); watches, accessories & jewellery (down 4%); high street designer (down 13%).

When it comes to ones to watch, Fila is the fastest growing brand in the Brand Finance Apparel 50 ranking following an impressive 68% brand value increase to US$2.7 billion. The brand, which operates in 70 countries through licensing deals, celebrated strong sales growth towards the end of last year, particularly within the Chinese market.

New entrants Timberland and Bosideng are the second and third fastest growing brands, up 47% and 39% respectively. China’s Bosideng has entered the ranking in 50th position, with a brand value of US$1.5 billion. Bosideng announced a new clothing line launched with Jean Paul Gaultier, the former creative director of French luxury fashion house Hermès (down 2% to US$11.7 billion), which is being sold in stores and online on Chinese e-commerce giant Tmall’s platform.

In contrast, Coach has recorded the biggest drop in brand value this year, falling 31% to US$4.7 billion.

In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, customer familiarity, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. Alongside revenue forecasts, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.

According to these criteria, Rolex (up 1% to US$7.9 billion) is once again the strongest apparel brand in the world, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 89.6 out of 100 and a corresponding elite AAA+ brand strength rating.

All brand values have a valuation date of 1st January 2021.

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