BrandIndex's pre-shopping season retail value data appears in Chain Store Age

Surveys Chart Customer Value Perceptions of Retailers
By Marianne Wilson

Three surveys from YouGovPolimetrix’s BrandIndex provide insight into consumer perception of value in three distinct retail segments: discount and department stores; women’s apparel stores; and all other clothing stores.

“Arriving at the biggest shopping day of the year during a skittering economy, it is critical for retailers to understand where men and women consumers believe they get the biggest bang for their buck,” said Ted Marzilli, senior VP, BrandIndex ( “Throughout 2008, and particularly in the last few months, consumers are increasingly value conscious, so these scores could be significant indicators of how these retailers will perform during the holiday shopping season.”

BrandIndex interviews a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. consumers, aged 18 and above each day. For the value score, respondents are asked “Do you receive good value for what you pay?” The score is compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback. A score can range from 100 to -100.

The surveys rate perceived value among retailers from Sept. 1 through Nov. 19. Here are some of the findings:

In the discount segment, Marshall’s has achieved the greatest improvement among women for perceived value in discount department store retailers since Sept. 1. For men, Wal-Mart and Big Lots gained the most value appeal over the same period of time.

Dillard’s and Ross lost the most value attraction for women since Sept. 1 while Marshall’s and J.C. Penney had the same effect on men.

In the department store category, Macy’s scores the highest in value for men and women, and scored the most positive value trend for both men and women since Sept. 1.

Neiman Marcus which lost the most on its value score for women since Labor Day, has the lowest value score ranking for women (-16.3) as well as men (-19.7).

Currently, Target (49.5) and Wal-Mart (41.4) are the discount department store retailers with the top BrandIndex value scores for the general population of adults 18 and over.

Women’s Apparel: Dress Barn has scored the biggest gain among women for perceived value of women’s clothing stores. Christopher & Banks has also made substantial gains over the same period.

On the opposite end, both New York and Co. (-6.9) and Victoria’s Secret (-4.7) have lost the most in their value scores during the same time.

Currently, Lane Bryant (17.1), Dress Barn (16.3) and Fashion Bug (15.3) are the women’s clothing-store retailers with the top BrandIndex value scores as seen by women consumers.

Juicy Couture (-6.7) and bebe (-3.9) have the lowest value scores for the same group.

Other apparel results: Men’s Wearhouse accumulated the best-perceived value among clothing-store chains.

Men view both Men’s Wearhouse and Old Navy as the clothing chains currently with the best value going into the 2008 holiday shopping season. Both chains have BrandIndex value scores of 27.8.

Old Navy registered as an even stronger value with women, achieving a current BrandIndex value score of 39.6, far ahead of second place Gap’s score of 16.4.

The Gap has moved in different directions since Sept. 1 in how men and women perceive its value: for men, the store’s value score fell the most over that time (-8.5) while it gained the most for women (+6.9).

Abercrombie & Fitch is the clothing store seen as the worst value by both men (-27.5) and women (-22.4), gaining momentum especially with the latter gender since Sept. 1 (-4.5).