Cosmetics retailer Lush has reclaimed its place as the UK’s favourite high street shop while WHSmith has been voted the worst for its “crowded stores with limited stock”.
The Which? annual high street survey asked 12,504 customers to rate shops on price, products, service and after-sales service or returns based on their last visit.
Shoppers at Lush, which last held the top spot in 2012 before finishing second last year, praised the “personal” aspect of its customer service and its try-before-you-buy offer while describing staff as friendly and helpful, giving it an overall score of 83%.
Disney Store took second place with a score of 82%, with customers praising its “enchanting” atmosphere and “great service and products”.
Consumers voted Richer Sounds the third best shop with a score of 81%, and making it the only store in the top five to win a five-star rating for its pricing.
Last year’s winner Apple slipped to 13th place after seeing 9% slashed from its customer score.
Several customers complained about finding it difficult to book an appointment with the technology giant’s ‘genius bar’ service, which helps consumers with technical problems.
WHSmith, which received a 55% overall rating, found itself at the bottom of the ranking of 100 retailers for the second year in a row.
Homebase was ranked 99th with a score of 56% and HMV managed just 59% to take 98th place.
Which? editor Richard Headland said: “We’ve seen time and again that people won’t settle for bad customer service and this is supported by the results of our high street shops survey. Stores giving people the care and attention they want have happy customers who return.”
A WHSmith spokeswoman said: “This exercise is very misleading as WHSmith does not fit into any of the survey categories, while products like newspapers and magazines are not those that customers would ‘recommend’ a retailer for.
“The 104 customers that commented on WHSmith in this survey are not reflective of the 12 million customers that visit our stores each week, where our own independent survey of over a thousand customers continues to rate us highly.”