First, one of the biggest names in retail, Walmart. Their logo is great to start with because it’s simple, effective, and by the book. To understand why their logo works, you have to understand their business goals: Walmart targets the general population with a value proposition of lower prices. These two points are reflected in their retail colors of blue and muted yellow.
Blue is a welcoming color, so if you’re targeting the general population, it’s a smart choice. The darker shades of yellow, as well as some shades of orange, denote affordability and inexpensive products. Putting it all together, you see that Walmart chose their retail store colors with care.
Compare Walmart’s logo to that of its biggest rival, Target. Considering that they’re the two biggest retail chains in America, their logos are surprisingly different, showing just how much business goals influence branding colors. As opposed to Walmart’s catering of “everyone,” Target caters slightly more to younger shoppers—or shoppers who want to feel younger. This is clearly evident by their heavy use on the color red, the most youthful color, as we explain below.
Nordstrom is not as mainstream as Walmart or Target, but it still sells at the national level. Their business goals are very different than the previous department stores — Nordstrom is committed to being on the cutting-edge of fashion, and delivering the best possible service while doing so.
You can see the contrast in their retail colors: Nordstrom’s retail store colors, logo colors and website colors almost always center around black and white, a sophisticated color that looks way more upscale than Walmart’s blue. Nordstrom’s lower-price chain, Nordstrom Rack, lightens their logo color to a shade of grey to appear more accessible.
Finally, let’s look at a retail giant that takes more of a middle ground with their brand colors. While not as popular across the States, budget supermarket Aldi has been a long time European favorite. Interestingly, they found a way to combine the intensity of warm colors like red and orange with blue’s serenity. Blue is the dominant color here to appeal to the general population, but highlights of red, orange and yellow around the frame give it a more powerful presence without going as bold as Target. The use of gradients, which came as part of Aldi’s rebrand in 2017, modernizes the brand while remaining recognizable.