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Apparel Companies Estimated to Lose as Much as $1 Trillion in Brand Value Due to Covid-19

Nike has again been named the most valuable apparel brand in the world — but all apparel companies are being hit hard by the pandemic.
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Global brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance has once again released its assessment and ranking of the most valuable apparel brands in the world. Once again, for the sixth consecutive year, Nike has won the number-one spot by a longshot, with a total brand value of $34.8 billion, a 7% rise over 2019.

Brand Finance defines "brand value" as "the net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market," and it offers a good indication of how brands are doing in terms of growth and overall reputation. 

Interestingly, Nike is followed by Gucci, which rose to number two from the number-five spot last year. Adidas, which saw its brand value drop by 1%, came in at number three, followed by Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Zara (which saw a 21% drop in value), H&M, Chanel, Uniqlo and Hermès.

In its evaluation of over 5,000 brands, Brand Finance also clocked Levi's as the fastest-growing one: The American denim giant's value increased 38% to $4.1 billion, thanks to its successful IPO, fast-growing womenswear segment and smart marketing moves, including its Coachella activations.

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The fastest-sinking brands, meanwhile, are Valentino and Gap. Both saw 39% drops in brand value.

It's, of course, a tricky time to measure brand value, as a lot has already changed since 2020 began. According this report (and others), Nike is also in a strong position to weather the storm that the current pandemic is causing throughout the industry because of its growing dominance in e-commerce, where it surpassed $1 billion in quarterly sales last year.

Some other brands are not so well prepared: According to Brand Finance's assessment, the apparel sector will be among the hardest-hit industries in the world and could face a collective 20% loss in brand value due to the pandemic. That could translates to as much as $1 trillion.

"The Covid-19 pandemic is undoubtedly going to hit the apparel sector hard – Brand Finance has predicted that apparel brands could face up to a 20% drop in brand value," said Brand Finance Managing Director Richard Haigh in a statement. "As these brands negotiate store and factory closures, broken supply chains and a customer base that is facing unprecedented economic uncertainty, they will have to prepare for a tough and turbulent journey ahead."

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