One of the biggest stories of the holiday season was the hit that legacy department stores took when warm winter weather and continued consumer moves toward online retailers disrupted everything from revenue streams to inventory management. However, it would seem that consumer opinions on some department stores didn’t suffer the same setbacks.
The Harris Poll announced the results of its 28th annual EquiTrend Study, cataloging the brand equity or strength of consumer response to companies in multiple segments, and despite a rough winter, Macy’s captured the top spot in the department store category. The retailer posted an increase of at least 7 percent in brand equity from 2014 to 2016, allowing it to unseat competitor Kohl’s, which had held the pole position in the vertical since 2012.
“Consumers form impressions of brands long before they ever use them, based on their perceptions and what they may know from trusted sources,” Joan Sinopoli, vice president of brand solutions at Nielsen, owner of The Harris Poll, said in a statement. “This high-level equity is the gateway to eventual purchase; it also helps to protect brands from the consequences of an occasional misstep. The strength of a company’s brand equity can have direct business and financial outcomes.”
The company with the largest jump in brand equity was Nintendo, which rose to the top spot with a 16 percent jump since 2014. Technology dominated the group of the fastest risers, as YouTube, Netflix and Sony all captured Brand of the Year for social networking sites, video streaming platforms and home electronics, respectively.
Though it posted more modest gains, Best Buy won for electronics retailers. The Home Depot took home gold for the fourth year in a row among hardware stores and T.J.Maxx, a newcomer to Brand of the Year honors, pulled home the crown for off-price retailers.