by Brian Lipton

Kohl's Sonoma Goods For LifeThe Harris Poll’s 29th annual EquiTrend Study, which reveals the strongest brands across the media, travel, financial, automotive, entertainment, retail, restaurant, technology, household and nonprofit industries, has announced its results. This year, more than 100,000 U.S. consumers assessed more than 4,000 brands across more than 450 categories.

Measuring brand 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.

Winners in the retail categories were: Best Luxury Store: Nordstrom; Best Department Store: Kohl’s; Best Footwear Store: DSW; and Best Off-Price Retailer: TJ Maxx.  In addition, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and JC Penney also scored highly with consumers.

Meanwhile, Apple Watch won Best Smart Watch for the first time and Fitbit was named Wearable Fitness Tech rand of the Year.

“More people engaged with more brands than ever before, and millennials–the largest generational cohort–are reshaping the U.S. brand landscape,” said Joan Sinopoli, vice president of brand solutions at The Harris Poll. “With prime earning years still ahead of them and a strong sense of values, they are dictating culture through the brands they buy.”