What winds up UK shoppers?Unhelpful staff is the top shopping frustration

19 September 2015

Shopping bugbears infographic

Unhelpful shop staff is the biggest irritation about shopping in-store, according to 43% of UK shoppers. Our survey also revealed the top high street shops. 

We asked shoppers what they find irritating about shopping in-store as part of our 2015 retailer survey, and unhelpful staff topped our poll. 

Younger shoppers (aged 18-24) are less concerned, however – just 28% of them said unhelpful staff was a shopping irritation. Older shoppers don’t agree: nearly half (48%) of those aged 55-64 say unhelpful staff are a frustration.

We surveyed nearly 9,500 UK shoppers to tell you the best shops, based on customers’ recommendations.

We have results for 100 shops. Ranging from big name stores such as Debenhams, John Lewis, M&S and Currys PC World, to smaller chains, such as Lakeland and Screwfix. 

To find out where you should shop, click best and worst high street shops

Top shopping bugbears

Besides unhelpful staff, queuing, shop crowds, expensive prices and poor shopping experience are the shoppers’ top irritations. Poor shopping experience includes customers having difficulty finding products and stores being untidy. Each of these is an in-store frustration for 39%.

Men are more likely than women to find unknowledgeable staff irritating. Just 5% of shoppers don’t find any aspect of shopping in-store irritating.

With two thirds (68%) of people shopping on their local high street at least once a fortnight, there’s huge scope for retailers to make their customers more satisfied by cutting down on their frustrations.

Which? retailer survey 2015

Besides finding out about people’s shopping habits, our annual retailer survey reveals the best and worst shops, according to those who shop there.

Lush and John Lewis vied for top positioning overall this year, with the toiletries and cosmetics retailer achieving an overall customer score of 80%, and the department store 79%. The worst shops’ customer scores are over 20 percentage points lower.

We also asked customers about buying specific types of items, such as electricals, clothing, furnishings and baby and child products. This has enabled us to reveal the shops most loved by their customers in the following product categories:

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