Aug 29, 2018
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Amazon rises to be UK’s most reputable retailer, Sports Direct comes in last

Aug 29, 2018

Amazon has significantly improved its reputation over the last year, becoming this year’s most reputable retailer in the UK according to a new consumer survey.


Consumers gave the online retailer positive ratings across a variety of categories including Products and Service, Innovation, Leadership, and Performance, helping it achieve an 8.3% increase in the UK Retail RepTrak ranking from Reputation Institute.

“Amazon’s combination of selection, value, personalization, and no hassle customer service is a winning formula. Amazon has a loyal following with more than 100 million Amazon Prime subscribers ‘Prime Day’ sales have become a major retail event,” said Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, chief reputation officer at Reputation Institute.

The e-commerce company was followed by Boots, John Lewis, Co-Op, Ikea, Debenhams, Sotheby’s, Waitrose, Tiffany & Co and eBay in the top 10 most reputable companies. But according to Reputation Institute, Amazon’s popularity could decline again if the threat of a special retail tax on online businesses becomes a reality.

“Despite their position of strength, Amazon is faced with reputation risk based on the proposed “Amazon tax” and growing criticism of working conditions in their vast distribution centres,” said Hahn-Griffiths.


Also facing workplace criticism is Sports Direct, which was named the UK’s least reputable retailer in the ranking. The company owned by Mike Ashley was ranked 48th, with its worst ratings showing weak reputation across four measures: Workplace, Governance, Citizenship and Leadership. 

Hahn-Griffiths commented: “Sports Direct’s overall reputation has tumbled in the past year, alongside its profits. The company recently suffered a huge backlash from investigative journalists who compared working conditions to ‘the gulag’ and the firm was investigated by MPs shortly afterwards.”

Sports Direct’s reputation decline could be linked to its falling profits, the report suggests. In fact, the ranking coincides with a company announcement of a 73% decline in profits last month.

And what do the majority of the UK’s most reputable retailers have in common? Nine of the top ten companies offer integrated online and offline retail, suggesting that the omnichannel approach is the way forward.

“While more than 2,000 stores have closed or are at risk of closure so far in 2018, the report shows the rapid change in the retail sector creates opportunities for companies who get the balance of high quality products/services and responsible business right,” Hahn-Griffiths concluded.

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