The Worlds 10 Favourite Brands in 2014
This American, employee-owned supermarket chain was started in Florida and has over one thousand stores in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama. Founded in 1930 by George Jenkins, Publix Supermarkets Inc. is now headed by CEO William E. Crenshaw. The employees and CEO must be doing something right, because in a climate where things are financially tight for everyone, this retail brand's net worth is up 2% in the past year. It seems Publix cares about its public!
#9. Coach: $11.6 billion
Although in the top 10, this store that specializes in designer handbags is down 21% from the previous year, likely in part due to the struggling economy. In this financial climate it is surprising people are buying such luxury items at all, but the fact that they do is a testament to the beauty not just of Coach's products, but also of its stores. With a luxury of space and a rich, antique-type decor, shopping at Coach will make anyone feel rich, if even just for 20 minutes.
#8. eBay: $13.2 billion
This company, founded in 1995, was among the first to offer the convenience of shopping from your own home. Customers can order new or used items in any category directly from the seller, bidding against others, which can work out well for the seller if the item is rare or hard to find. Obviously still doing well, eBay is up 20% from the previous year, illustrating significant and continuing growth. You really can get anything on eBay, as one recent offer shows. Six twigs (yes, we mean small sticks) were on sale recently on this online auction site.
#7. Sam's Club: $13.5 billion
Founded by Walmart's Sam Walton just five months before Costco, this retail chain of stores is the original Costco. As evidenced by their presence on this list, the original is currently doing better than its contemporary, with membership also required to shop here, including annual fees and an ID card to identify shoppers at this warehouse-club. There are 633 stores in the U.S. and elsewhere (Puerto Rico, China, Brazil and Mexico).
#6. Walgreens: $15.5 billion
Over a century old and up 8% in the last year, Walgreens is the largest drug retailer in the U.S., with 8,678 stores throughout the U.S. and also in Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. CEO Gregory D. Wasson now runs this massive chain in place of the original founder from 1901, Charles Walgreen. The corporate giant is under a lot of pressure at present, being pressured by its shareholders to move its headquarters from Springfield, Illinois - where it's been for 113 years - to Europe, to escape a 35% U.S. tax on profits.
#5. CVS/pharmacy: $17.8 billion
Founded in 1963 and up 12% in the last year, CVS is Walgreen's younger competitor. Although they do not have an international presence, there are 7,600 stores (CVS and Longs Drug Stores), throughout 45 of the 50 U.S. states. This company has been in the news significantly twice this year. In February, the corporation announced they would be pulling tobacco products from their stores and will no longer sell tobacco at all; they are the first store of their kind to make this bold, health-conscious move.
#4. Amazon: $23.6 billion
The world's largest online retailer was founded in 1994, one year before eBay. Going stronger than ever due largely to the brand's willingness to diversify while remaining competitive, their net worth rose 27% in the past year. Jeff Bezos, founder, clearly has vision, as eCommerce is no longer a thing of the future, but a necessity that has changed the face of shopping forever. Bezos' reach is far, including the purchase of the iconic Washington Post. Most recently Amazon announced its new product, the Amazon Dash, a wand that includes a barcode scanner, microphone and speaker.
#3. The Home Depot: $25.7 billion
This retail brand was founded in 1978, with the first two stores opening in Atlanta, Georgia in 1979. The company was one of the first of its kind, warehousing do-it-yourself hardware tools and materials at a scope far surpassing the average hardware store of its day. This company claims to be the fastest-growing retailer in U.S. history; it went public on NASDAQ in 1981 and moved to the NYSE in 1984. Home Depot now has stores throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as in Mexico, and even has representation in China with the 2006 acquisition of 12-store Chinese retailer The Home Way.
#2. Target: $27.1 billion
Up 8% in 2013, this store targets savvy shoppers who want to get some bang for their buck. A competitor of Walmart's, the first Target was opened in the early 1960s by the Dayton family (Minneapolis) of Dayton's Department Store. The original founder was a philanthropist who worked with the precursor to the United Way, and Dayton's was one of the first corporations to give back a percentage of pre-tax profits (5%) to the community. In 2010 they announced their decision to give $1 billion to education by 2015, making that promise almost complete!
#1. Walmart: $131.9 billion
Although last year this giant was down 6%, this largest retail brand in the entire world still holds a net worth of more than $100 billion over its closest competitor, Target. The Walton family opened their first store in 1950, but founded the corporation Walmart in 1962, the very same year as Dayton's first Target stores opened - founder Sam Walton must have done things more efficiently, or must have given back much less. For the first time ever in an annual report, Walmart made the news by admitting much of their losses last year were due to a decrease in government food supplement assistance given to impoverished Americans (and paid by citizen tax dollars).
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