Lush, Apple top UK retail charts

22 May 2012

LONDON: Lush, Apple and John Lewis are the favourite high-street retailers of British shoppers, a survey has found.

Which?, the consumer magazine, polled 11,247 adults about the service, store environment, prices, product quality, range and after-sales experience provided by 100 chains.

Lush, the cosmetics specialist, headed the charts overall. It was followed in the rankings by Apple, the electronics pioneer, which shared second with John Lewis, the department store operator.

Taking third was Lakeland, the kitchenware expert, with Clarks, the footwear group, in fourth, while Richer Sounds, an audiovisual goods vendor, was in fourth.

Also featuring in the top ten was Disney, with the branded stores based around its entertainment properties, alongside Ikea, the furniture firm, and Morrisons, the supermarket chain.

More broadly, 56% of people questioned for the poll revealed they are shopping less often than a year ago, a trend attributed to the ongoing troubles facing the British economy.

Further, 57% of interviewees now buy more goods online than on the high-street, and 41% positively "preferred" making purchases on the net, mainly as it is cheaper and simpler to compare prices.

Martyn Hocking, the editor of Which?, said: "With household budgets squeezed, people are becoming choosier about when and how they purchase products.

"High street shops cannot afford to give customers poor service if they want to tempt shoppers away from their computers and back to the high-street."

Overall, Halfords, which sells a range of products for drivers and cyclists, was bottom of the charts. WH Smith, the stationery, books and entertainment chain, came in just behind.

Blacks, the ailing outdoor group, Tesco, the supermarket, Poundstretcher, the discount retailer, and JJB Sports, the athletic and sportswear network, also performed poorly.

Data sourced from Which?/Daily Mail; additional content by Warc staff