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Which? poll reveals UK shoppers’ top shops of 2016

Public votes for most loved and loathed stores


Thousands of shoppers have had their say on the UK’s best and worst shops         

John Lewis and Toolstation are Britain’s favourite shops, according to a Which? survey of more than 10,000 shoppers. 

Customers told us that they love John Lewis’s knowledgeable staff and quality products, while Toolstation is praised for its no nonsense stores and decent prices. 

Last year’s top performer Lush drops to joint third place, joined by fellow (but very different) cosmetics and toiletries store Bodycare, as well as Richer Sounds.

Stores showing the biggest improvements over 2015 rankings include bargain-hunter favourites Primark and Savers, both jumping a whopping 43 places. Shoppers love their cheap and cheerful approach.

Which? members can see the full table of 100 best and worst shops online, and in the June issue of Which? magazine. 

WHSmith sinks to the bottom

But it’s not all good news. Languishing at the very bottom of our results table is WHSmith, dropping a place from last year. Customers labelled it drab and untidy, saying it lacked a clear focus. Also in the bottom five were BHS, Homebase, Millets and Warehouse.

But slipping down the rankings was Evans Cycles, plunging 47 places, with shoppers hitting out at its prices and lack of staff. Clothing store Peacocks also drops 44 places, amid criticism of its cluttered stores and outdated range.

See which stores left customers feeling less than impressed by checking out our full table of results.

What you love about the high street

Shopping 2

Use the results of our shopping survey to pick the best stores for you

The poll is one of our biggest ever high street shopping surveys. The results offer a unique warts-and-all look at the state of retail – from managers going the extra mile, to untidy shops, rude staff and unexciting products.

For the first time in our annual survey we reveal exactly what you love about shopping on the high street:

  • the sensory experience of touching and feeling products
  • the satisfaction of immediate purchases
  • the chance to question staff.

The top performing stores celebrate these unique strengths of the high street. John Lewis’s customers enjoy browsing its stores. Meanwhile Toolstation’s customers like its convenience, with its long opening hours, dedicated call centre and catalogue. 

Find out the top irritations of high street shopping.

Shops rated on price, customer service and range

We’ve also looked at how shops in different categories match up, so you can use our results to explore new shops, looking at the star ratings to find top performers for customer service, range, products, store and pricing. Check out shops in the following categories: 

Look for the Which? Recommended Providers highlighted in red. We’ve awarded this Which? seal of approval to 12 retailers. Only those with the top customer scores plus at least four stars for customer service and three for price made the grade. We also analysed their in-store non-faulty goods returns’ policies to make sure they offer the very best – a minimum of 28 days for a full refund. 

More on this… 

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