Richer Sounds and Lakeland top UK shops poll

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The Independent Online

Home entertainment store Richer Sounds and kitchenware chain Lakeland have been voted the UK's best shops in a survey by consumer group Which?

WH Smith and Currys Digital were named the worst in the poll of more than 14,000 people by the consumer watchdog.

Other stores in the top 10 were Apple, cosmetics companies Lush and The Body Shop, John Lewis, Ikea, Jones Bootmaker, fashion retailer Wallis and home furnishing supplier Dunelm Mill.

Rounding out the bottom 10 were DIY store Focus, PC World, JJB Sports, Currys, Sainsbury's, shoe store Barratts, Sports Direct and Morrisons.

Customer satisfaction ranged from 78% for Lakeland and Richer Sounds to 49% for Currys Digital and WH Smith.

The only high street giants to make the top 20 were John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Waterstone's, with the rest made up by specialist stores.

Discount stores were absent from the top rankings, despite price remaining the most important factor in choosing where to shop.

Fashion discounters Matalan and TK Maxx were among the most visited stores but neither made the overall top 50.

However premium-price retailers including Jones Bootmakers, the White Company and Laura Ashley all made it into the top 20.

The survey found shoppers were 70% more likely to recommend a shop that was excellent at handling a complaint than one where they had never had a problem.

Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith said: "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 vote with their feet and stamp it out."

:: Which? surveyed 14,151 people online in February and March about the high street shops they had visited in the previous six months.