September 03, 2021

Supermarkets are the most trusted brands but Department Stores Myer, Kmart, Big W and Target are the big improvers

Topic: Press Release
Finding No: 8784
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The Australian economy grew by a stunning 9.6% over the year to June 2021, its fastest annual growth in modern history and this strong growth supported a retail sales boom on the back of record Government support for the economy.

Retailers have been the big winners during this period and the top four most trusted brands again comprise some of Australia’s leading retail brands led by Woolworths, Coles, Bunnings Warehouse and ALDI in fourth place.

Notably, there have been four big improvers in the June quarter 2021 with Department Stores Kmart, Myer, Big W and Target all improving their standing as some of Australia’s most trusted brands. Kmart has entered the top 5, both Myer and Big W are new entrants to the top 10 and Target jumped seven spots in the quarter to be just outside the top 10.

Roy Morgan is presenting a special webinar on the top 20 most trusted and distrusted brands on Tuesday September 14 at 11am. Register your interest in the upcoming webinar.

Roy Morgan data scientists analysed nominations from more than 20,000 Australians to identify the nation’s 20 most trusted brands, and 20 most distrusted brands.

According to Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine, retailers have enjoyed an unexpected ‘banner year’ caused by Government responses to the pandemic, however the latest lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne point to a challenging period ahead as Australia looks to ‘live with COVID’ for the first time:

“Australia’s big two supermarkets Woolworths and Coles have held their spots as the most trusted brands in Australia in the June quarter 2021 ahead of Bunnings Warehouse and fellow supermarket ALDI. These businesses have been essential outlets for millions of Australians over the last 18 months and the latest lockdowns in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra will again emphasise their importance to many.

“The other big winners during the June quarter 2021 were Department Stores including Kmart, Myer, Big W and Target. All four lifted their rankings with Myer and Big W entering the top 10 most trusted brands as many retailers enjoyed record sales as Australians prevented from travelling and enjoying live entertainment such as sport, music, theatre and the like redirected their spending into the retail industry.

“The latest lockdowns in NSW, Victoria and the ACT are set to end when vaccination rates in these states reach targets of 70% and then 80% of the adult population fully vaccinated. This is a big difference from prior lockdowns as Australians will be ‘living with COVID’ for the first time when these lockdowns end.

“This new ‘COVID-normal’ will provide a challenging environment for retailers that rely heavily on personal interactions between staff and customers. The big question facing retailers is how they manage the questions of ‘vaccination mandates’ for staff and ‘vaccination passports’ for customers without destroying the trust they’ve built up over the past year.

“These questions are front and centre for many businesses approaching a post-pandemic ‘COVID-normal’ but retailers in particular will face the ‘sharp edge’ of these issues with the high level of interactions between staff and customers they deal with every day of the week.” said Levine.

Just outside the top 10 there are several other brands to improve their rankings during the June quarter 2021 including Samsung (11th), IGA (12th), Target (13th), Australia Post (15th), Bendigo Bank (17th) and JB Hi-Fi (20th) which is a new entrant as one of Australia’s top 20 most trusted brands.

The Roy Morgan analysis also reveals the top 20 list of Australia’s most distrusted brands with Harvey Norman entering the top 20 list for the first time while brands including Amazon, Google, Twitter and Crown Resorts all experienced rising distrust rankings during the June quarter 2021.

Ms. Levine notes the big ‘loser’ in the latest Roy Morgan Risk Report is Harvey Norman: “Furniture and electrical retailer Harvey Norman’s entry into the list of Australia’s top 20 most distrusted brands illustrates again the brand damage than can accrue to a business that is perceived to not be looking after the interests of its customers and the wider community.

“Harvey Norman has been widely criticised this year for vowing to keep the $22 million in JobKeeper wage subsidies it received as part of the Government’s economic support despite recording a record profit before tax of $1.18 billion for the year ended June 30, 2021 – an increase of $521 million from a year ago.

“It appears the pressure on the company has had an impact though with the company just this week deciding to repay $6 million of JobKeeper wage subsidies – but will this concession prove too little too late for Harvey Norman to rebuild the trust they have lost during this period?”

The top 10 most trusted brands in Australia – June 2021 (March 2021 in brackets)

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia). Risk Monitor, July 2020 – June 2021. Key commercial brands with 20+ mentions. Base: Australians 14+; n=21,724.

Roy Morgan Risk Monitor data is made available in a variety of formats, from snapshot overviews to detailed tracking of individual brands and their competitors.

The Roy Morgan Risk Monitor surveys approximately 1,800 Australians every month to measure levels of trust and distrust in more than 900 brands across 26 industry sectors. Respondents are asked which brands and companies they trust, and why, and which brand and companies they distrust, and why. The survey is specially designed to be open-ended and context-free, i.e., unprompted.

Roy Morgan is presenting a special webinar on the top 20 most trusted and distrusted brands on Tuesday September 14 at 11am. Register your interest in the upcoming webinar.


Michele Levine – direct: 03 9224 5215 | mobile: 0411 129 093 |

View the 2021 Risk Report.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size Percentage Estimate
40% – 60% 25% or 75% 10% or 90% 5% or 95%
1,000 ±3.0 ±2.7 ±1.9 ±1.3
5,000 ±1.4 ±1.2 ±0.8 ±0.6
7,500 ±1.1 ±1.0 ±0.7 ±0.5
10,000 ±1.0 ±0.9 ±0.6 ±0.4
20,000 ±0.7 ±0.6 ±0.4 ±0.3
50,000 ±0.4 ±0.4 ±0.3 ±0.2

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