IKEA tops UK retail charts

24 April 2012

LONDON: IKEA, Bonmarché and John Lewis are the retailers held in the highest regard by British shoppers, according to a new study.

Verdict Research, the insights provider, surveyed more than 6,000 adults in the country, and found that IKEA, the Swedish furniture chain, was the favourite retailer of respondents overall.

"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," Maureen Hinton, practice leader at Verdict Research, said.

"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."

Second spot this year went to Bonmarché, the clothing chain, which was credited for impressively meeting the needs of its "niche target" audience of mature female buyers.

John Lewis, the department store group, claimed third position having been number one last year, but retained its status as the leader for customer service, and was second for product quality.

Play.com, an ecommerce platform focusing on the media and entertainment categories, occupied fourth, ahead of H&M, the apparel vendor, in fifth.

More broadly, Waitrose, the supermarket operator which is part of the same company as John Lewis, registered the best scores in terms of product quality, while Schuh, the shoe chain, did so for its range. Primark, the discount clothing specialist, led on price.

"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," said Hinton."Consumers have higher expectations from their preferred retailer and seek a shopping experience that ticks all the boxes."

Breaking down its results by sector, the report showed Waitrose trumped Asda and Morrisons for buying food and grocery lines.

John Lewis took the honours for electricals, beating Amazon and Comet. Amazon was also in second in the entertainment charts behind Play.com.

Wilkinson assumed pre-eminence in the home improvement segment, followed by B&Q and Wickes. Elsewhere, IKEA was trailed in the homewares rankings by Marks & Spencer and John Lewis.

Data sourced from Verdict Research; additional content by Warc staff