In the annual Retail Proposition Index conducted by OC&C Strategy Consultants, the 30 favourite UK retailers have been named. The vast research gathers the opinions of 13,000 shoppers from the UK.
According to the findings, UK shoppers are continually putting more emphasis on the quality of their goods over cost. And as a result, this year’s rundown of favourite retailers were altered largely based on the perception of quality.
M&S Simply Food benefitted from this change of demand and became top of this year’s 30 favourite retailers listing. The business has been in the top ten for some time, and was able to capitalise on the appetite for quality – with over 45s a key driver in M&S Simply Food’s fortunes. M&S, meanwhile, ranked sixth.
Rounding off the top five it was John Lewis in second, followed by Lush, Amazon and Apple. Amazon is said to have fallen from its long-held top spot due to over 35s, who account for 70 per cent of the retail spend, being more focused on quality, compared to millennials, who are fans of Amazon’s low costs, commanding a 35 per cent spend.
Matt Coode, partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants, said: “The results from this year’s Index should serve as a call to action for the retail industry. 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.”
Jack Wills was highlighted as one of the largest climbers in the ranking of favourite retailers, up from 101 in 2016 to 18 this year, which is said to have been driven by consumers appreciating its quality, service and trustworthiness. Additionally, Clarks, Body Shop and Ted Baker were most successful in driving an increase to perception of product quality.
“M&S Simply Food has managed to build on its impressive track record of service and product range. Its rating as the UK’s favourite retailers is the clearest illustration that today’s British consumer demands quality above all else,” said Coode.
“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.”
Although quality does outweigh price, that’s not to say that consumers don’t appreciate a bargain if it’s to a high standard. Aldi, known for its low costs, grew its quality rating over the year and climbed from 20 in 2016 to seventh place for favourite retailers in 2017.
The appeal of Poundstretcher and Poundworld fell, however, as its price perception was not matched with quality, according to the index.
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