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Lush voted best high street retailer, but Apple falls fastest

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Ethical cosmetics retailer Lush has been voted best retailer by a national customer survey of more than 12,500 consumers from Which?

It reclaims the top spot it held in 2012.

Known for its personal and attentive approach to customer service, Lush topped the survey with a score of 83 per cent which judged 100 retailers on price, products, service and after sales/returns from their last visit.

DIY store Homebase was ranked 99th with a score of 56 per cent, while the newsagent and stationery chain WH Smith received a 55 per cent rating overall and was revealed to be the worst retailer on the UK high street for the second time in a row.

In a statement, WH Smith said: “This exercise is very misleading as WH Smith does not fit into any of the survey categories, while products like newspapers and magazines are not those that customers would ‘recommend’ a retailer for.

Family owned Clarks, popular with growing Chinese shoppers in the UK, had one of the biggest increases in score and was up from 70 per cent in 2013 to 79 per cent this year. All its ratings, bar pricing, increased as its successful tie-up with designer Orla Kiely sold faster than expected.

The biggest drop occurred for last year’s winner Apple, who have slipped down to 13th place with 9 per cent slashed off its score as people complained it was difficult to book an appointment at its “genius bar service” known to help customers solve technical problems.

Which? editor Richard Headland commented: “We’ve seen time and again that people won’t settle for bad customer service… stores giving people the care and attention they want have happy customers who return.”

And telecommunications retailer EE, who is attempting to point its customer service approach towards an Apple model, remained in the lowest five places for the second successive year.

EE said it was “disappointed” by the results of the survey. “We will take the findings on board and remain committed to raising the standard of our in-store customer service levels.”

Top five retailers

Lush 83

Disney Store 82

Richer Sounds 81

John Lewis 80

Waterstones 80

Clarks 79

Bottom five retailers

99p Store 60

EE 60

HMV 59

Homebase 56

WHSmith 55

Published on Wednesday 21 May by Editorial Assistant
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