Ikea overtakes John Lewis as nation's favourite retailer

Ikea: current ad campaign features Princess Xenia of Saxony
Ikea: current ad campaign features Princess Xenia of Saxony

Ikea has overtaken John Lewis as the nation's favourite retailer, according to a poll of 6,000 consumers by Verdict Research.

The furniture retailer won the award because it had the right product mix both in-store and online, and also knew its consumers well and met their needs consistently, according to the survey.

Maureen Hinton, practice leader at Verdict, said: "Ikea's move from second place last year to top the polls in 2012, reflects the strength of its offer at a time when consumers are cutting back on spending on the home.

"It has an extensive, stylish, range at attractive prices and with the majority of consumers on a tight budget, it has something for everyone wanting to brighten up their home."

John Lewis came in third place this year having won the award last year, while womenswear brand Bonmarché claimed second place.

The recognition will come as a welcome boost to Bonmarché, which was offloaded in January to private equity group Sun European Partners by troubled parent company Peacocks.

The Peacocks brand has since been acquired by The Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

Bonmarché’s shoppers were particularly happy with the range and quality of the in-store offer, according to the poll.

Hinton said: "Bonmarché has a niche target, the mature female shopper, but these women are well served by the retailer, and this is reflected in its score."

John Lewis continues to top the polls for service by a 10-point margin and also holds the second-highest score for quality.

Verdict has also announced an individual winner for each of the categories respondents were asked to vote on.

Primark won the "price" category; Schuh was best for "range"; John Lewis won the "service" category, and sister brand Waitrose was top for "quality".

Hinton said: "Value remains top of mind for consumers this year. But this is reflected not only in seeking low prices, but in prioritising quality, service and range. Consumers have higher expectations from their preferred retailer and seek a shopping experience that ticks all the boxes." 

Follow Matthew Chapman at @mattchapmanUK


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