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Profits down but M&S still loved by consumers

A survey, commissioned by specialist marketing agency Baber Smith and conducted by YouGov, has found M&S to be the most trusted high street retailer. Twenty-two per cent of respondents also voted M&S as the business they’d least like to see disappear from the High Street.

The survey aimed at uncovering consumer shopping habits during the economic downturn.

Other findings were:

•    A good selection of products (54 per cent), good value for money (48 per cent) and a good reputation (31 per cent) are the three main reasons shoppers would hate to lose their favourite High Street retailer•    Online shopping may be popular with the younger generation, but the majority of Brits (32 per cent) still prefer to do their fashion shopping in the town shopping centre, compared with the 15 per cent who buy their goods online•    Ethical business practises have dominated retailers’ agendas in recent times but only 17 per cent of consumers identify this as an important factor in establishing trust.

Commenting the research, consumer psychologist Alain Samson says:  “A retailer looking to increase footfall in their shops by implementing cost-cutting tactics should proceed with caution.  If the quality of products or services falls as a result, such practices may contribute to customer distrust of that particular brand in the long term.”

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