Ikea has taken the crown from John Lewis as the nation’s favourite retailer, according to a major new poll.
Verdict Research’s survey of over 6,000 consumers moved the Swedish furniture and homewares specialist into the top spot, up from second place last year. Bonmarché, the value retailer of plus-size women’s clothing, moved into this year’s second position, while John Lewis dropped from first place to third.
Verdict said that Ikea’s popularity was down to its ability to meet consumers’ needs each time they visit the store or website with the right product mix: the retailer knows its consumers well and fulfils their requirements consistently.
According to Verdict practice leader Maureen Hinton: “Ikea’s move from second place last year to top the polls in 2012 reflects the strength of its offer at a time when consumers are cutting back on spending on the home. It has an extensive, stylish, range at attractive prices, and with the majority of consumers on a tight budget it has something for everyone wanting to brighten up their home.”
Range and price were two areas that particularly impressed Ikea’s shoppers.
Although being relegated to third place in the poll, John Lewis held onto the top score for service, and has the second highest score for quality. These credentials remain at the heart of what makes John Lewis shoppers among the most loyal, said Verdict.
Shoppers at second-placed Bonmarché are particularly happy with the range and quality of the in-store offer. “Bonmarché has a niche target, the mature female shopper, but these women are well served by the retailer and this is reflected in its score,” Hinton said.
She went on: “Value remains top of mind for consumers this year. But this is reflected not only in seeking low prices, but in prioritising quality, service and range. Consumers have higher expectations from their preferred retailer and seek a shopping experience that ticks all the boxes.”