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Home Improvement Retailers Feature in Which? Best and Worst List

Screwfix store sign

Home Improvement retailers once again featured in the top and bottom 10 of the 2018 Which? poll of the UK's largest retailers. The Consumer Association questioned more than 10,000 shoppers to get the survey results, with the scores based on two simple questions: how satisfied customers are with a shop and how likely they are to recommend it to a friend.

Once again Screwfix and Toolstation appeared in the top 10, coming in joint fourth place, with IKEA, Dunelm and John Lewis in joint tenth.

The three shops that topped their annual survey of the best and worst high street stores for 2018, were Lush, Savers and Smyths Toys. Customers love the scents and atmosphere of Lush stores, the prices at Savers and ‘friendly and cheerful’ staff at Smyths Toys. Price is also a key factor, particularly for everyday essentials, pushing stores such as Savers up the rankings. Customers don’t like its shops or customer service but they love its low prices – and that trumps everything else. The top scorers generally offer something their online rivals can’t: sensory experiences, help with choosing products or first-class customer service.

The trio, voted best by UK shoppers, have shaken up the top of the table, with none of these companies making last year’s top 10.

See the top 10 table below:

/live/news/wysiwyg/Which Top Ten 2018.jpg 

In the bottom 10 at position 97 was Homebase/Bunnings, one place below Toys R Us. The disruption, the change in ranging and mixed messages communicated to consumers over the last 12 months has not left the business in a good place and shows the scale of work required by Hilco and the new team to turn the business around.

Read - Wesfarmers abandons Homebase UK&I to Hilco for £1

In bottom place overall was the reliably dreadful WH Smith, which has languished in the bottom two for the past eight years. Customers derided its customer service – one labelled it a ‘horrid shop’.

 /live/news/wysiwyg/Which Bottom Ten 2018.jpg

The high street has been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons so far this year. In fact, two of the retailers in the survey, Toys R Us and Maplin, had already gone into administration by the time of publication.

In the past few months alone, Mothercare and Laura Ashley have issued profit warnings. New Look has requested rent cuts and Debenhams is slashing staff numbers. Carpetright is closing around a quarter of its stores, while House of Fraser and Marks and Spencer have both announced store closures too. Consumer finances are squeezed and there’s a growing threat from online retailers, which offer convenient, fast-paced shopping options, often at lower prices. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Two thirds of us shop on our local high street at least once a fortnight. And we love being able to see and touch products before buying, taking away our purchases immediately and asking questions of staff.

Source: Insight Team & Which? Press Release

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29 May 2018

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