John Lewis voted the UK’s favourite retailer

John Lewis has been voted the UK’s favourite retailer for the fourth consecutive year in Verdict Research’s poll of consumers. The furniture giant IKEA has taken second place with Waitrose, John Lewis’s sister company, following close behind in third position.

A poll of over 6,000 consumers, carried out by Verdict Research, reveals that John Lewis remains the nation’s favourite retailer. This is the fourth year in a row that the department chain has taken the top slot and, with victories before, during, and after the recession, it would seem that its appeal endures in times both good and bad.

Neil Saunders, consulting director of Verdict, comments: ‘John Lewis’s formula for success is tantalizingly simple: great service, broad and compelling ranges, superior quality, and honest and fair pricing. But it’s a model that’s extremely difficult to emulate. The result is that John Lewis makes consumers feel good about shopping; it delivers value over and above just the physical purchase.’

In particular, John Lewis was highly rated on service where, aside from its sister company Waitrose, it received double the score of any rival. It also performed well on range, quality, and store ambience. The table below shows the top five overall retailers in the Consumer Satisfaction Index 2011.



1 John Lewis
3 Waitrose
4 Superdrug
5 Amazon

Source: Verdict Research

IKEA, in second place, scored well on both price and range and the results follow a year in which it managed to successfully grow its share in a market that saw an overall contraction in size. Saunders comments: ‘IKEA offers good quality, stylish modern products at market-beating prices… that’s something consumers have welcomed during these more constrained times.’

Waitrose, the upmarket food retailer, came third in the survey and was the only grocer to appear in the top 10. It received the highest score for quality of any retailer in the survey and was also rated highly for its service and store layout. Saunders says: ‘Due to the frequency with which people shop for food, grocery retailers are up against close consumer scrutiny and as a result most find it difficult to score well. Waitrose is the exception to that: it provides an enjoyable and aspirational shopping experience with plenty of foodie treats.’

As well as overall scores, the index looks at the winners in each sector.

Sector Top retailer Second retailer Third retailer 

Clothing Marks & Spencer John Lewis H&M
DIY Wickes B&Q Wilkinson
Footwear TKMaxx Barratts Matalan
Food & grocery Waitrose Morrisons Marks & Spencer
Music & video Amazon iTunes
Personal care Superdrug Avon Bodycare
Homewares John Lewis IKEA Dunelm
Electricals John Lewis Asda Amazon

Source: Verdict Research

‘This year’s winners tend to be retailers that focus heavily on price or retailers that add a lot of value to their offers,’ Saunders concludes. ‘They reflect the fact that consumers are increasingly looking for value for money during these constrained times.’


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