Tesco is Britain's most valuable retail brand, according to consultancy Intangible Business.

It identifies Tesco, the world's third-largest retailer, as the most valuable brand on the high street, with Sainsbury's coming second.

Marks & Spencer is third, helped by its status as the UK's biggest clothing retailer, with a market share of 11.4 per cent.

Intangible managing director Stuart Whitwell said that the importance of brand value was growing because of the slowdown on the UK high street, which meant consumers needed more reasons to buy.

He said: “2008 is starting to show signs of a slowdown. Strong brands are more important than ever.”

Brands punching above their weight include John Lewis, closely followed by Selfridges, M&S and Waitrose. Five ones to watch are Early Learning Centre, Ann Summers, World Duty Free, Boden and Jaeger.

The league table was compiled on the basis of historical sales data and qualitative panel data.