May 29, 2019
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Which? says Rohan, John Lewis and Hotter are favourite fashion stores, but who comes bottom?

May 29, 2019

The UK’s Which? Magazine has published its regular annual list of the best and worst UK retailers, and while fashion names don’t figure at the very top and the very bottom of the list, they come close.


In fact, newsagent/stationer WH Smith was voted bottom (109th) out of all by the 7,700 consumers Which? surveyed, while music chain Richer Sounds scored top spot.

But 56-store chain Rohan, which sells outdoor clothing, was at number two with a score of 87%, just ahead of third-placed John Lewis on 86%. Hotter Shoes (84%) was joint fourth and casualwear retailer Crew joint seventh (83%). Cornish lifestyle chain Seasalt came in at joint 10th spot on 82%.

And the lower reaches of the list? Sports Direct was at number 107 with a score of just 54% and was the lowest-ranked fashion name, while River Island and JD Sports did little better at joint 105th on 56%. New Look was 104th with a 58% score while Peacocks and House of Fraser were joint 102nd with 59%.

The names at the top were praised for their in-store experience and service with Which? Editor Harry Rose saying that while physical stores are under pressure, “it’s clear that there is still demand from shoppers for the experience and services offered by physical stores that can't always be replicated online. Giving shoppers a great in-store experience is more important than ever to thrive on the high-street.”

It’s also interesting that some of the chains near the top of the list are relatively small (but growing quickly) businesses. Such companies, in order to compete with bigger, more established names, need to be heavily focused on the lifestyle, exemplary customer service and experiences, that Which? said consumers really do seem to notice these days. 

Meanwhile some of those near the bottom have been suffering from  the volatility that comes with business problems with names such as New Look and House of Fraser perhaps having allowed some of their well-publicised issues to spill over onto the shop floor.

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