The strong apparel brand gains show consumers were shopping again, replenishing wardrobes. But they purchased in an informed way, looking for value and waiting for sales. The most successful brands provided a value proposition that combined fashion, speed and price.
Retail also contended with smarter shoppers. The category is experiencing a transformation in response to shoppers who expect everything all the time: the range and price available online combined with the immediate experience and gratification provided by physical stores.
Feeling entitled and less constrained by recession-inspired frugality, consumers spent money on luxury, too. The luxury brands reclaimed some of the exclusivity and margin they sacrificed to drive volume during leaner times.
Car brands benefited from consumers who returned to the dealerships as the days of cash for clunker incentives faded in the rear view mirror and the resurgent US economy drove car sales. Car sales gained in Europe and China as well.
Slower economic growth in China, and the emergence of competitive Chinese brands, affected personal care brand value growth, as did problems in the Brazilian economy, home to one of the major personal care brands, Natura.