M&S Simply Food voted the UK's favourite retailer

 
Helen Cahill
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Marks & Spencer's (M&S) food division has been crowned the UK's favourite retailer, beating John Lewis and Amazon in a poll of consumers.

M&S' premium food brand topped a survey, released today, of 13,000 UK shoppers by OC&C Strategy Consultants.

The research found that single-category retailers were some of the most improved in terms of promoting a high-quality image.

One of the largest risers in the index was Jack Wills, which soared from 101st place last year to 18th this year. Other successful single-category retailers included Clarks, the Body Shop and Ted Baker.

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Earlier this month, M&S reported a group sales fall of 2.6 per cent to £5.1bn, with like-for-like food sales dropping by 0.1 per cent. Total revenue increased 4.4 per cent in the division, partly due to new store openings and an increase in the amount of floorspace given to food. However, profitability was down, with gross margin dropping 130bps thanks to inflation.

The drop in food sales came despite M&S' efforts to bolster its food business, which has been outperforming home and clothing sales in recent years.

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Matt Coode, partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants said: "M&S Simply Food has managed to build on its impressive track record of service and product range. Its rating as the UK's favourite retailer is the clearest illustration that today's British consumer demands quality above all else.

"The research this year reveals that shoppers are increasingly prepared to pay a premium for excellence, so retailers must think carefully about the level of investment in price and promotion versus quality and service to ensure their continued to success."

Discount retailers have also been focusing on public perception in marketing campaigns, and the consumer poll indicated the push was working. Aldi climbed from 20th place in 2016 to 7th in 2017.

Retailer

Overall Score

1

M&S Simply Food

85.0

2

John Lewis

83.3

3

Lush

83.1

4

Amazon

82.7

5

Apple

82.4

6

M&S

81.7

7

Aldi

81.6

8

Boots

81.3

9

Ralph Lauren

80.9

10

IKEA

80.7

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