Top of the shops revealed by Which? poll100 shops rated in UK's biggest high street survey

27 May 2010

High street shopping

Always check shops' returns policies when buying goods

Which? reveals today that Lakeland and Richer Sounds came top of the shops in our latest survey on high street stores - the biggest survey of its kind in the UK.

The definitive Which? high streets shops survey ranks 100 high street names according to the satisfaction of their customers. It draws on the experiences of more than 14,000 shoppers. 

Richer Sounds and Lakeland top survey

The UK's top five stores are:

  • Lakeland
  • Richer Sounds
  • Apple
  • Lush
  • John Lewis

While hidden gems Lakeland and Richer Sounds both have fewer than 50 branches across the UK, both scored top marks for customer service. Richer Sounds customers loved its 'lovely, helpful knowledgeable staff' and it was the only shop in the Which? league table to score five stars out of five for both price and customer service. Lakeland was praised for innovative products and a great aftersales service.

Almost all of the top 10 high street shops in the Which? survey are specialist stores - with the only notable exception being department store chain John Lewis. It comes fifth overall.

Currys Digital and WH Smith least loved

Currys Digital and WH Smith were slated by customers and came last. According to one customer, staff at Currys Digital, the audio visual chain owned by electrical retail giant DSG International, have 'very poor customer care and product knowledge.' Established high street name WH Smith was deemed 'not as good as it used to be'. 

Joining these losers at the bottom of the table are:

  • Currys
  • JJB Sports
  • PC World
  • Focus

Our survey shows that the bugbear of unhelpful staff tops the poll of things shoppers find most irritating about the high street.

Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith says: 'We know people appreciate good customer service so retailers need to realise that who cares, wins. Some stores are clearly giving their customers what they want, so why settle for lousy service? We urge shoppers to stamp out bad service by voting with their feet.'

Our sports and leisure winners and losers can be found below.

Best shops for sports and outdoor
ShopPriceProduct QualityProduct RangeServiceStoreCustomer score
John Lewissatisfactoryexcellentgoodexcellentexcellent70%
JD Sportssatisfactorysatisfactorygoodsatisfactorysatisfactory57%
Sports Directexcellentsatisfactorygoodpoorvery poor53%
JJB Sportssatisfactorysatisfactorygoodsatisfactorysatisfactory53%

Table notes

Sample sizes: John Lewis (99), Independents (180), Millets (180), Argos (177), JD Sports (160), Tesco (151), Halfords (126), Blacks (154), Asda (176), Debenhams (167), Sports Direct (175), JJB Sports (166), Sainsbury's (162). Total sample size was 2,073.