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John Lewis is top of the shops

John Lewis is top of the shops

Department store chain John Lewis has been voted the UK’s favourite retailer in a poll of over 6,000 shoppers.

The Consumer Satisfaction Index 2008, carried out by retail analysts Verdict Research, found that John Lewis was more highly regarded than any of its competitors in an increasingly competitive retail sector.

John Lewis managed to increase its overall satisfaction score since last year giving it the highest score ever attained in the Index.
For the survey Verdict Research quizzed customers about where they shopped most frequently, and then asked them to rate those stores in terms of range, price, convenience, quality, service, ambience, facilities and layout.
John Lewis regained the top spot in the 2008 Index, having been nudged into second position last year by its sibling, Waitrose. The department store business performs well across a range of measures, but it is in service that it excels: John Lewis has been ranked top on this attribute since the survey began eight years ago.

Author of the report and Verdict’s Consulting Director, Neil Saunders, said, “The idea of good service at John Lewis isn’t simply a fad dreamt up by management for short term gain, it’s an integral part of the business, supported by an ownership structure which reduces staff turnover and gives partners, at all levels, a real incentive to perform well.

“The result is an enthusiastic workforce which is knowledgeable about products.”
Waitrose, John Lewi’s sister company, came second in the Index after attaining the top ranking last year. The retailer does particularly well in both ambience and layout where consumers give it top marks.
Dunelm, the specialist homewares retailer comes in at number three in the Index. Shoppers rate the chain for the amount of choice available at its stores and for its keen prices. Dunelm offers consumers a comprehensive range of own-brand merchandise which helps differentiate it against other players in the homewares market.

Verdict_John Lewis 

Verdict believes that over the next year, as trading conditions become tougher and consumers more demanding, building loyalty will be a key driver of retail success.

“The fact is that consumers today have more choice than ever before,” said Saunders. “If a retailer gets it wrong it’s very easy for a shopper to go elsewhere. It’s no longer sufficient to pay lip service to ‘keeping the customer satisfied’ - it has to be a philosophy placed at the heart of a retail business.”

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