by Brian Lipton

amazonValuation and strategy consultancy company Brand Finance has released its lists of the 50 most valuable global retail brands and 50 most valuable apparel brands.

Brands are evaluated to determine their power and strength, based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation,

On the retail side, once again topped the list. Its strong 53 percent brand value growth this year meant Amazon was close to becoming the most valuable brand across all industries. For now, with a brand value of $106.4 billion it sits just behind Google ($109.5 billion) and Apple ($107.1 billion). The firm is growing strongly as it continues to both reshape the retail market and to capture an ever larger share of it. Its brand value is already nearly double that of second-placed Walmart. Amazon Fresh, its grocery service, is still relatively limited in scale but this year began operating overseas for the first time, serving Central and East London initially. Amazon has stated it will create 100,000 jobs in the U.S. over the next 18 months. Such confidence suggests that Amazon may well become the most valuable brand in the world in 2018.

Other notable retailers include TJ Maxx (25), Macy’s (26), Ross Dress For Less (27), Kohl’s (31), Nordstrom (32), and Marshalls (50).

On the apparel side, Nike took the number one spot, valued at $32 billion. The brand’s strength is partially attributable to the apparel giant’s ability to continuously innovate and deliver state-of-the-art products to a range of consumer demographics. Last year, the brand released the anticipated self-lacing HyperAdapt sneakers popularised by the sci-fi movie, “Back to the Future”, as well as becoming the first major commercial athletic apparel brand to announce a plus-size workout and clothing line.

Other high scorers in the apparel category included H&M (2), Zara (3), Adidas (6), Uniqlo (7), and Under Armour (13).