The survey found that John Lewis, which is celebrating its 150 anniversary this year, won consumers over with its focus on customer services, as well as its quality and innovative products. The department stores appeal was further underlined when it also won four other categories in the poll, taking favourite home retailer, favourite electricals retailer, favourite online home retailer, and best customer service experience, as well as the top retailer award.
“John Lewis may come top of lots of polls but maintaining that lead is far from easy; it is the result of extensive investment and change in the business,” said Conlumino’s commercial director Stephen Ward. “The consumer doesn’t see most of this; they just see the results which are delivered through great service, a really efficient online operation and interesting and innovative products. And that’s just the way retail should be.”
Sainsbury’s Tu brand named nation’s favourite fashion brand
However, John Lewis couldn’t take home the accolade as the nation’s favourite fashion retailer as that honour went to Sainsbury’s own label Tu, which has been collaborating with stylist Gok Wan on a number of collections. The supermarket has seen its fashion label, which recently celebrated its 10th birthday, as a real growth driver for the business and consumers praised it for its “high quality and great designs”. Another victory for Sainsbury’s was that it pushed rival Asda’s George brand into second place, with Marks & Spencer taking third.
“Tu is something of a hidden gem. It is one of those brands that not everyone has discovered but when they do they are pleasantly surprised and become dedicated consumers,” said Ward. “Ten years ago when it was launched some said that fashion would not work at Sainsbury’s, but they have been proved wrong because Tu has done a great job of translating the needs and desires of Sainsbury’s shoppers into a credible fashion brand.”
There was also success for ShopDirect, who scooped the nation’s favourite online fashion retailer ahead of Asos and Debenhams, and Schuh were award the nation’s favourite footwear retailer, bumping John Lewis into second with Next taking third spot. Sportswear giant Nike was also recognised for their in-store experience, taking the winning spot ahead of Apple and John Lewis.
One of the most surprising results was that Amazon was named as the nation’s favourite online retailer, showing that even though it has been criticised for its tax arrangements and working practices it has little impact on consumer perceptions of it as a retailer. It took the honour ahead of John Lewis and auction site eBay.
The survey polled over 6,000 consumers between May and July this year.
Image: John Lewis and Sainsbury’s Tu