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John Lewis wins five golds at the Retail Olympics


Retail research agency Conlumino has announced the retailers that have made it on to the podium in the race to become the nation’s favourite retailers. In a poll of 6,000 people it was found that John Lewis was the nation’s favourite retailer, winning the ‘favourite retailer overall’ category, as well as the ‘favourite home retailer’, the ‘favourite electrical retailer’, ‘favourite online home retailer’ and ‘best customer service experience’ categories. However, when it came to the online category, Amazon took the top spot as the nation’s ‘favourite online retailer overall’.

It has become a familiar sight in the retail world to find John Lewis on the top of the pile as the retailer celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, known for its focus on customer service, quality and innovative products. As well as overall winner, John Lewis won four other awards, underlining its dominance.

Stephen Ward, Commercial Director at Conlumino, said: “John Lewis may come top of lots of polls but maintaining that lead is far from easy… 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.”

But the appearance of Amazon at the top of the online retail poll is something of a surprise. Given the negative publicity surrounding the tax arrangements and working practices of the international online retail giant in recent months, the decision of Britons to vote it as the UK’s favourite retailer will come as something of a shock to many. Nevertheless, the result is an impressive one for Amazon, one of the youngest retailers receiving an award (it did not have a presence in the UK until 1998) and is 134 years younger than John Lewis.

Neil Saunders, Managing Director of Conlumino, commented, “The results demonstrate that, above all else, retail is about understanding shoppers and proving them with what they want. Amazon has been instrumental in changing the way we shop and over the past 16 years it has continually refined the service it offers shoppers, this customer focus is one of the reasons it is the largest internet retailer in the UK and it’s also why it tops our poll for online shops”.

Other results of interest include Sainsbury’s Tu being voted the nation’s ‘favourite fashion retailer’, which HMV was voted ‘favourite entertainment retailer’, a remarkable turnaround for the company that was rescued from administration by restructuring firm Hilco.

“HMV’s rise back to the top is impressive,” says Saunders. “It’s really a story of reinvention with the firm focusing on great service and also on making its stores more engaging and entertaining. It just goes to show that even in this era of online, traditional retailers can thrive if they give consumers a reason to visit and buy.”

Published on Wednesday 10 September by Editorial Assistant

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