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Last Updated: Monday, 23 January 2006, 01:28 GMT
John Lewis tops shoppers' survey
John Lewis
The shoppers surveyed praised John Lewis staff
Ikea has lost its crown as shoppers' favourite store to John Lewis, according to new market research.

The Swedish retailer has fallen to fifth place in a consumer satisfaction index compiled by Verdict Research.

John Lewis rose from last year's second place to number one while Waitrose, which John Lewis owns, came in second.

Britain's love of fashion items at cheap prices has pushed TK Maxx up from fourth to third place while Matalan rose from number 10 to four.

Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket group with 1,800 stores, came 33rd in the survey.

Nick Gladding, senior analyst at Verdict, said he believed shoppers had become "a little bit fatigued by the customer experience" at Ikea.

"There is a lot of queuing and the stores are heavily congested, particularly at weekends when people want to shop," he said.

'Unequalled service'

The survey came just weeks after the Scandinavian chain announced it was revamping its strategy to focus on city centre stores, shifting away from out-of-town shopping centres.

TOP 10 SHOPS
1. John Lewis (last year - 2)
2. Waitrose (20)
3. TK Maxx (4)
4. Matalan (10)
5. Ikea (1)
6. Amazon (14)
7. Savers (39)
8. Schuh (31)
9. Wilkinson (23)
10. B&Q (7)

Source: Verdict survey

This new strategy, combined with the launch of online ordering later this year, is likely to ease congestion and deliver better customer service, Verdict said.

John Lewis' rise to the top after three years in second place is said to be partly due to the detailed product knowledge and advice given by its staff.

According to Verdict, John Lewis had "no equal" in terms of customer service and scores highly on all other satisfaction criteria.

The growing popularity of online retail is reflected in Amazon's rise from 14th to sixth place.

Verdict questioned 6,000 customers about where they shopped most frequently, resulting in a list of 67 retailers.

Respondents were then asked to rate the stores in terms of range, price, convenience, quality, service, ambience, facilities and layout.




SEE ALSO:
Ikea targeting British expansion
10 Jan 06 |  Business
Festive sales up for John Lewis
28 Dec 05 |  Business


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