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Posted on Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Report: See the best retail brands of 2013

By Lizzy Alfs

Department store chain Macy’s is gaining relevance among American shoppers, according to an annual report released this week.


A Cabela's store in Grandville, Mich.

Interbrand’s Best Retail Brands of 2013 — which ranks the 50 most valuable U.S. brands based on financial performance, brand equity and competitive strength — shows Macy’s increased its brand value more than any other retailer, rising to #40 on the list.

Walmart, Target and Home Depot hold the first three spots on the list, while Amazon jumped to #4 from #9 last year.

Newcomers include Anthropologie, Express and Cabela’s, which is described as a tourist attraction and retail destination with a strong emphasis on customer service. Cabela’s opened its third store in Michigan this week and the company’s real estate manager said it likely won’t be the last store in the state. Anthropologie, which is owned by Urban Outfitters Inc., is reported to be eyeing the Ann Arbor real estate market.

Meanwhile, Toys “R” Us, Abercrombie & Fitch and Advance Auto Parts fell out of the ranking.

Interbrand, which also ranks the top retail brands from around the world, listed lululemon athletica as Canada’s top retail brand and discount supermarket Aldi as #1 in Germany. Lululemon announced plans recently to open a store in the under-construction Arbor Hills shopping center on Washtenaw Avenue.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at


Ann English

Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 12:22 a.m.

The Interbrand list covers retail stores all over the USA, not just Michigan. That explains why Meijer isn't on the list, with locations in only five states. It does sell Ultra Swim shampoo for a dollar+ less than CVS does, but CVS has a lot more locations, in many states.

Ann English

Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 11:51 p.m.

So Rite Aid didn't make the list? I don't get their ads like I used to, but CVS and Walgreens still send theirs with the Sunday papers. I'm surprised that even though Auto Zone made the list, O'Reilly's Auto Parts didn't. I've heard Advanced Auto Parts ads frequently on the radio for months, but only recently discovered that it's on Carpenter Road.


Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 5:46 p.m.

I'm looking forward to seeing Aldi's open. I've heard good things about that store.

Ann English

Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 12:03 a.m.

The Aldi's store at the northeastern corner of Dexter and Maple has triggered competition from the other grocery stores. Now and then Meijer and Kroger sell bell peppers for less than Aldi, and last week Kroger was selling gallon milk for less than Aldi. Occasionally the bigger stores will sell frozen fish fillets for less than Aldi's, but since it's a smaller store, you'll have to visit it regularly to know what it may have STOPPED selling; the last time I went, they weren't selling red onions in 2-lb bags. It could be they're focusing on selling other, in-season vegetables, harvested in spring only.


Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 6:55 p.m.

Aldi's has great prices on generic fruits and vegetables. If you eat regular grocery store meats (we don't) they also have great prices on that. You can also get great bus on good greek yogurt there. But the thing that stands out to me is their price on really good 85% dark chocolate. Under $2 for 5 little bars of good European chocolate.


Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 6:08 p.m.

If you live in A2, there is an Aldi on the corner of Dexter and Maple. I think it's a weird store, with a weird vibe - and have never seen the place full. Much prefer Trader Joe's merchandise, even though it is small and crowded (they are owned by the same people).


Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 2:14 p.m.

I think Costco should be #1


Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 6:52 p.m.

I was a Sam's customer and changed over to Costco in the last couple of months. The difference is like night and day! The folks at Costco act like they are actually glad to help you. They also carry many organic products which Sam's does not. I have never had to wait in line at Costco.

Lizzy Alfs

Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 2:18 p.m.

I was surprised to see Sams above Costco on the list, actually.


Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 12:23 p.m.

. . .So we celebrate discretionary consumption and then scratch our heads when we are collectitvely, and as a country, in debt up to our eyeballs? . . Retail growth may make us feel somewhat better about our economic prospects but does very little to truly grow an economy--nothing is truly produced the impacts GDP to any material degree. And don't get me started on how, or why, a big store becomes a "tourist attraction" (eye-roll)

Ann English

Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 12:16 a.m.

If a big store sells something I can't find at other big stores (such as silicone whisks at one time, and tea balls this year), I remember that store. Walmart sells them both.


Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 2:48 p.m.

I don't quite get your assertion that we are celebrating 'discretionary consumption' here. The top 3 are Walmart, Target and Home Depot. I really don't think of these as centers for discretionary spending. The majority of what I buy at Target is food, medicine, paper products for home, and clothing. While I also buy other items there - including gifts for others and snack foods that are not essential to my daily life/death diet - I really don't think I or most people who shop here would consider it a home for a celebration of discretionary consumption. And I am certainly not put into debt by what I buy there. Unless you built your own home from trees you personally chopped down, and hunt your own food, and make your own clothes; then perhaps I could see how our definitions of 'discretionary' could be very divergent.

Boo Radley

Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 11:33 a.m.

What a coincidence ... I was at the Cabela's in Dundee yesterday. It had been quite some time since I was last there, and they have made a lot of changes in the interior layout. It seemed to be much easier to navigate than it used to be, and still a great place, as always.


Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 6:49 p.m.

We've been there a couple of times recently and both times had a very pleasant experience. Once was for a free introduction to Fly Fishing session.

Lizzy Alfs

Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 2 p.m.

I remember my dad taking me there and we spend forever just exploring.