In Industry News, What's New by Accessories Staff

The Harris Poll® 2016 EquiTrend® Study is out and the 28th annual study shows that in the fashion retail world, leaders include Macy’s, Nordstrom, Kohl’s.com, DSW Shoes and TJ Maxx.

Measuring brands’ health over time, the EquiTrend Brand Equity Index is comprised of three factors–Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration–that result in a brand equity rating for each brand.

Brands ranking highest in equity receive the Harris Poll EquiTrend “Brand of the Year” award for their respective categories.

Retail brands of the year (PRNewsFoto/The Harris Poll)

Retail brands of the year (PRNewsFoto/The Harris Poll)

“Time and time again, our research has shown that retailers with strong brand equity dominate a large share of shoppers’ wallets,” said Joan Sinopoli, vice president of brand solutions at Nielsen, which owns The Harris Poll. “Retail especially is a brand image-driven category. When consumers connect with your brand, you are likely to see more visits and sales. The Harris Poll Retail Brands of the Year are doing a superior job of connecting with their customers in a heavily-saturated, competitive retail landscape to keep them coming back.”

From Luxury to Off-Price, Consumers Shop Around
While same store sales for several apparel retailers have been less than promising, Nielsen research shows that a majority (70%) of U.S. consumers made an apparel purchase in the past six months, and most of those purchases have been made at a physical store location1.

This year, Harris Poll has named Macy’s Department Store of the Year, Nordstrom is Luxury Department Store of the Year and TJ Maxx is Off-Price Retailer of the Year.

“Macy’s may be the classic department store brand, woven into our popular culture from parades to movies,” said Sinopoli. “Its business challenges have not yet impacted consumer sentiment toward the brand. It will be interesting to see if the brand’s strong equity can sustain the business during this transformative time.”

With so much information at consumers’ fingertips, Nielsen research shows that many shoppers turn to retailers’ online and mobile channels as important sources of information before they make a purchase in the store’s physical location2.  “Design, trend and price are all in play when shopping for apparel,” said Sinopoli. “This puts brands like Nordstrom and TJ Maxx in the same competitive context from time to time.”

Kohls.com Tops Online Retailers
Looking at retailers’ online counterparts, Kohls.com marks its fourth consecutive year as Harris Poll’s Online Department Store of the Year.

“Many brick and mortar stores are doing a good job translating their formats to an online presence, but Kohl’s is best of the best,” said Sinopoli. “And while brick and mortar is the dominant retail sales channel today, Nielsen research shows that e-commerce will drive the retail industry forward, projecting online sales growth of 12 percent3 between now and 2020, higher than all other retail channels. Shoppers naturally expect retailers to deliver a consistent brand image and seamless shopping experience, in-store, online and via mobile.”


This year, more than 97,000 U.S. consumers assessed more than 3,800 brands (including more than 200 retail brands), across nearly 500 categories. The complete list of Harris Poll EquiTrend Brands of the Year can be found at: http://www.theharrispoll.com/equitrend-rankings/2016.

The 2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend Study is based on a sample of 97,120 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over surveyed online, in English, between December 22, 2015 and February 1, 2016.  The survey took an average of 30 minutes to complete. The total number of brands rated was 3,837. Each respondent was asked to rate a total of 40 randomly selected brands. Each brand received approximately 1,000 ratings.