Nike, Ralph Lauren & Foot Locker Among the ‘Most Powerful’ Brands of 2017

Amid turbulent retail times, a handful of footwear and apparel companies are breaking through the clutter and resonating with constituents, says an annual report from marketing and innovation firm Tenet Partners.

The report, which ranks the “most powerful” brands in retail, food, tech, automotive and financial services, lists Nike and Ralph Lauren among the top fashion brands, while Macy’s, JCPenney, Kohl’s and Foot Locker landed on the list as leading retailers.

To compile the raking, the researchers said they used quantitative research from 10,000 consumers and “business decision-makers” to measure brand awareness, or familiarity, and perception, or favorability, for each company in its index.

They then combined those results to calculate a company’s brand power. The researchers suggest that measurements of these metrics may “provide meaningful indicators of a company’s management effectiveness, and therefore financial performance.”

Among footwear and apparel brands, Nike landed highest on the list at No. 32. Tenet noted the brand’s favorability among consumers seemed to have fallen compared with 2016, although its familiarity showed some gains. Overall, the athletic giant climbed two spots since the previous year.

Both Gap and Ralph Lauren, however, lost some ground compared with the previous year, slipping two points to No. 57, and one point, to No. 67, respectively. Tenet said Gap’s familiarity and favorability both fell this year, while Ralph Lauren’s familiarity held firm and its favorability edged downward.

Despite uneven earnings reports in recent quarters, department stores Macy’s, Kohl’s and JCPenney edged out other firms to make the list. Macy’s moved up seven spots to No. 87, and JCPenney advanced two notches over the prior year to No. 70. Kohl’s, meanwhile, dropped from No. 75 in 2016 to No. 77.

Athletic retail powerhouse Foot Locker — which has spent the last few years reaping the benefits of red-hot athletic momentum cracked the list this year, landing at No. 100.

Although a handful of fashion brands and sellers secured a spot on the ranking, the researchers noted that retail continues to face challenges stemming from the rapid rise of digital — a trend largely bolstered by e-tail behemoth Amazon, which took the 29th slot on the list.

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