Which? survey reveals the UK’s best and worst shops

Cosmetics chain Lush is the number one shop overall in the 2014 Which? shops survey, reclaiming the top spot it held in 2012.

The survey is based on the views of 12,504 members of the general public who were asked in February and March 2014 about the shops they had visited in the past six months.

Customer scores are based on satisfaction with the shop on their last visit and the likelihood of recommending it to a friend. Shops had to get at least 100 responses to be included in the overall table.

After finishing second to Apple last year, Lush topped the table of 100 shops with a customer score of 83%. Which? said: ‘Customers love its products and the personal, attentive service offered by staff.’ At number two is The Disney Store, 82%, which was described as ‘an enchanting shop with great stores, service and products. It’s popular with children and adults alike’.

Next is Richer Sounds at 81%. This was the only shop in the top five to get a five-star rating for its pricing, ‘and it provides quality and service as well as value,’ Which? said.

John Lewis and Waterstones were also rated highly. At 80%, John Lewis ‘excels in every category in our survey,’ Which? said, ‘with consistently high ratings for range, service and store environment’. Waterstones garnered a score of 80% too, with customers praising the ‘comfortable store environment and staff who always seem to go the extra mile for their customers’.

Housewares retailers that fared well in the survey include Lakeland (79%), Dunelm Mill (74%), Wilkinson (74%), Marks & Spencer (72%), Argos (71%), The Range (70%), Ikea (69%) and Robert Dyas (69%). Independent furniture and homeware retailers made an appearance too, with a score of 67%.

WH Smith came last for the second year in a row. Homebase, HMV, 99p Store and EE also had low customer scores.

Which? said that while the items that the top shops in the survey sell are completely different, they have one thing in common: outstanding customer service.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd commented: “We’ve seen time and time again that consumers won’t settle for bad customer service and our survey confirms this. Those stores giving people the care and attention they want have happy customers who return.”

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