The great British high street has been going through a turbulent time recently. So where are these shops going wrong? Is it the layout, the customer service, or even the cleanliness – what keeps you loyal to them?
Well it’s worth having a look at the results of our hot-off-the-press annual shopping survey. In February 2016 we surveyed 10,006 members of the UK public, asking them about their experiences in the shops they’d visited in the past six months. It’s the UK’s biggest investigation into the shops that are impressing customers – and those that are failing to make the grade.
Customer opinion seems to be one of the best barometers of success, and we found that shoppers voted BHS among the worst performing stores just weeks before it went into administration.
BHS came joint 96th out of 100 brands overall, with a Customer Score of 57%. And it came last by some margin in the department stores category, scoring poorly for customer service and its store environment.
In fact the high street stalwart has finished towards the bottom of our shopping table in five of the last six years. The chain had been working on a turnaround plan after years of loss making, with its new owners promising to review costs and refresh its brand.
Customers visiting BHS told us that the shops were ‘untidy and unappealing’ with long queues, crowds and poor service. One shopper told us they felt it was ‘drab, confused, and crammed in’ adding it had lost its identity.
From our survey, we’ve found that generally, customers shopping on the high street are most irritated by queues, crowds, unhelpful staff and expensive prices. Which perhaps goes some way to explain why BHS struggled for so long.
So what is that makes a good or bad shopping experience for you?