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John Lewis

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Which? reveals best and worst on High Street

A survey by consumer watchdog Which? of over 10,000 consumers has revealed the best and worst shops on the High Street.

The customer scores given are based on customers’ experiences of purchasing non-food items, satisfaction levels and likelihood of recommending each shop.

DIY store Toolstation is joint-top for the second year running (having shared first place with John Lewis in 2016), while Richer Sounds is in the number one spot after coming joint-third last year. The electrical chain last topped the Which? survey in 2011.

Harvey Nichols has jumped from 21st place last year to third place this time around, with customers citing a love of its products as well as the stores themselves.

Waterstones returns to the top five for the first time since 2014. The book retailer is welcomed back into the top bracket of the Which? shopping survey on the back of recent news that book sales reached a record £3.5 billion last year.

“The best retailers, Richer Sounds and Toolstation, continue to strike the right balance by selling quality products at reasonable prices,” commented Richard Headland, editor of Which? magazine. “It’s a simple formula, but that’s why they consistently score well with shoppers in the Which? survey.”

Top rated shops:
• (1) Richer Sounds – 80% (128)
• = Toolstation – 80% (132)
• (3) Harvey Nichols – 79% (118)
• = John Lewis – 79% (542)
• = Waterstones – 79% (266)
• (6) Apple – 78% (129)
• = Bodycare – 78% (213)
• (8) The Perfume Shop – 77% (209)
• (9) Card Factory – 76% (218)
• = Cotswold Outdoor – 76% (125)
• = Go Outdoors – 76% (192)
• = Screwfix – 76% (186)

Bottom  rated shops:
• (88) Clinton Cards – 62% (128)
• = JD Sports – 62% (191)
• = Robert Dyas – 62% (232)
• = Sainsbury’s – 62% (278)
• = Tesco – 62% (264)
• = Topshop/Topman – 62% (181)
• (94) EE – 61% (146)
• = Peacocks – 61% (224)
• = Vodafone – 61% (134)
• (97) Poundstretcher – 60% (263)
• (98) Poundland – 59% (103)
• (99) WH Smith – 56% (225)
• (100) Morrisons – 55% (153)

Numbers in brackets represent the number of responses for each retailer.

Full results of the survey can be viewed here

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John Lewis to further break-in the finance sector…

Despite its current managing director, Andy Street, exiting the retailer to concentrate on a political career and profits said to be hit by higher staff wages and tough sector competition, industry reports have suggested that John Lewis is set to launch a new finance brand this month which will include services such as foreign currency, insurance and international payments; in addition to ATMs and new developments to its John Lewis & Waitrose Partnership Card.

In conjunction with the retailers existing financial products, the first enhancements will include a new look for the Partnership Card website, contactless technology and a mobile app to allow customers to check point balance; as well as make transactions ‘on the go’. 

Director of financial services at John Lewis Partnership, Mike Jackson commented in a statement: “We want all of our customers to know that when it comes to money matters, whether that’s travel, insurance or everyday spending, we can support them with the big events in their lives and all the small moments in between.”

He continued: “Considering the breadth of our current portfolio, we felt it was the right time to combine all of our financial services products under a single, umbrella brand as we seek to raise awareness and reach out to many more customers, offering them a greater range of products and greater value.”

It is thought that the full range of financial services will be integrated into one John Lewis Finance customer website within the next 12 months.