According to TimeTrade's 2017 "The State of Retail" report, the retail shopping experience is far from dead. In fact, the world's leading retailers are only strengthening their portfolios, learning to integrate online sales and e-commerce platforms into their growth strategies.
The world's leading retailers have a number of commonalities and differences, but they all share Shopify's No. 1 rule for success: They know their "why." These brands all have a very clear mission and vision providing direction and focus.
If you're wondering which brands are really bringing in the bucks, here's a list of the world's leading apparel brands.
Brand value: $2.831 billion
Massimo Dutti was founded in 1985 in Spain as a high-end men's fashion label. It has since expanded to include women's and children's clothing, accessories, personal tailoring and fragrances.
The brand was acquired by Inditex in 1991 and now operates over 790 stores in more than 75 countries. Its net sales in 2016 totaled $1.94 billion, which came from its 765 brick-and-mortar locations and improvements to its online shopping channels. The brand added a handful of new markets, both online and offline, and will continue to expand in 2018.
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Brand value: $2.992 billion
A billionaire who grew up poor, Ralph Lauren's iconic fashion label started off as a collection of ties. Now, it's one of the most valuable brands in the world.
Ralph Lauren is a lifestyle apparel, accessory and home furnishings company that was founded in 1967. According to recent fiscal reports, its net revenue decreased by 10 percent in 2017 to $6.7 billion. The trend is expected to continue downward throughout 2018 due to unfavorable foreign exchange rates.
Ralph Lauren ended the last quarter of the year with wholesale and retail revenues down but licensing on the rise, showing where the business might focus its attention going forward.
Brand value: $3.570 billion
Founded in Vancouver, Canada, in 1998, Lululemon is a yoga-inspired, technical athletic brand for men and women. The company operates 406 retail stores worldwide, with 43 stores opening in 2016.
Its rapid expansion strategy has paid off so far with net revenue increasing from $40.7 million in fiscal year 2004 to $2.3 billion in fiscal year 2016. Going forward, the company plans to focus its attention on digital sales and the customer experience in an effort to maintain momentum.
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Brand value: $5.028 billion
Founded in 1963 in Columbus, Ohio, L Brands — named after founder Leslie H. Wexner — has evolved from an apparel-based specialty retailer to a leading retailer in women's intimates and personal care, home fragrance and beauty products.
The company operates more than 410 stores in over 70 countries and is focused on global expansion through introducing new international markets to its core lines of Victoria's Secret Lingerie, PINK and Victoria's Secret Beauty. Net sales in 2016 were $7.781 billion, up from $7.672 billion in 2015.
Brand value: $5.875 billion
Founded in 1996 by a former college football player operating out of his grandmother's basement, Under Armour is a performance-driven apparel and gear brand designed with athletes in mind.
In celebration of its 20th anniversary in 2016, the company outfitted more than 275 decorated athletes — including many popular Olympians — and continued to grow its strategic partnerships. That same year, AdWeek honored Under Armour with an award for Ad of the Year. Its total net revenue in 2016 was $4.825 billion, up from $3.963 billion the previous year.
Brand value: $7.57 billion
A Japanese apparel brand that makes quality basics it describes as "LifeWear," Uniqlo sells products meant for everyday use. Around since 1949, it is quickly expanding internationally and set on cementing its name as a global powerhouse, with approximately 170 new stores opening each year. Revenue for 2016 was up 6.2 percent to $15.97 billion as it gained a presence in major cities around the world.
Brand value: $8.296 billion
It's hard to believe Adidas is one of the companies that failed big before becoming successful. Producing more than 850 million product units in 160 countries, Adidas has a simple mission: to be the best sports brand in the world, outfitting performance athletes and casual outdoor enthusiasts alike.
Headquartered in Germany, Adidas saw its 2016 sales rise to $22.87 billion, a 14 percent increase from 2015. The company is shooting for a continued growth rate of 17 to 19 percent in 2017.
Brand value: $10.482 billion
One of the world's leading fashion labels, H&M operates a number of subsidiary brands, each with its own unique identity: H&M Home, COS, & Other Stories, Monki, Weekday Cheap Monday and ARKET.
Founded in Sweden in 1947, H&M started as an affordable women's brand and quickly grew to include fashion for men, babies, kids and youth. It is rapidly expanding its global footprint with planned openings of 475 new stores in 2017 to reach 43 markets worldwide.
With more than 4,000 stores around the world, it is the only specialty retailer to be included on research company Corporate Knights' prestigious list — the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World — and sustainability continues to be a major initiative as it grows. Profits were down a bit from $3.22 billion in 2015 to $2.85 billion in 2016.
Brand value: $25.135 billion
Zara is one of the world's largest international women's, men's and children's fashion brands. Founded in 1975 in Spain, it is one of the flagship brands owned by Inditex, which reaches more than 94 markets worldwide.
Zara netted $18.25 billion in sales in 2016 thanks to 51 net store openings and 12 new online markets.
Brand value: $34.185 billion
In 2017, revenues for Nike, Inc. rose 6 percent to $34.4 billion, up 8 percent on a currency-neutral basis.
The powerhouse brand was founded in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports, which initially operated as a distributor for Onitsuka Tiger, the Japanese shoemaker that is now known as Asics. Blue Ribbon officially became Nike in 1971.
Big changes are in the works for the world's leading shoemaker. Never a brand to rest on its laurels, Nike announced it would dramatically decrease its distribution from 30,000 retailers to 40 wholesale partners in an attempt to increase exclusivity and control the product experience. It will continue to leverage its partnerships with celebrities, musicians and elite athletes in hopes of maintaining its status as the No. 1 retail brand in the world.
This ranking was sourced from Millward Brown/Statista.