Amazon has lost its crown as the UK’s favourite retailer to M&S Simply Food, according to an annual survey.
Surveying 13,000 British shoppers, the Retail Proposition Index found that quality perception was the single largest driver of change in the rankings this year.
The study found that Marks & Spencer’s Simply Food arm overtook Amazon because of its investment in strengthening shoppers’ positive perception of its service and food range.
This is particularly true for shoppers over 35, who account for 70 per cent of M&S Simply Food’s total retail spend.
“[M&S Simply Food’s] rating as the UK’s favourite retailer is the clearest illustration that today’s British consumer demands quality above all else,” said Matt Coode, a partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants, the firm that compiled the index.
While Amazon dropped to fourth place, John Lewis and Lush have come in at second and third respectively.
Apple ranked fifth while M&S’s generic retail business came in at sixth.
The only other UK retailer in the top 10 is Boots, in eighth place, while Waitrose missed out on entering the top 10 by just 0.1 point, settling for 11th behind Swedish giant Ikea.
Meanwhile, Jack Wills scored the biggest jump in this year’s index, climbing from 101st place in 2016 to 18th place in 2017.
This has been attributed to improvements made in customer perceptions of its service, trustworthiness, and quality.
Other single category retailers, such as Clarks, Ted Baker and The Body Shop were found to be the most successful in improving customers perceptions of quality, and have risen in the ranking this year as a result.
“The research this year reveals that shoppers are increasingly prepared to pay a premium for excellence, so retailers must think carefully about the level of investment in price and promotion versus quality and service to ensure their continued success,” Coode said.
Amazon was still a favourite among millennials, with research indicating that they place more weight on low prices, ranges which are tailored to them, and quality of mobile offer when making their retailer selections.
“The results from this year’s Index should serve as a call to action for the retail industry,” Coode said.
“Clearly, while the Amazon model has delivered unparalleled success in recent years, it isn’t bulletproof.
“As shoppers increasingly seek out quality, it presents real opportunities for those retailers that are able to build strong trusted relationships with their target customers and offer the right product and the right level of specialism.”