Which? survey unveils worst high street shops

Two of the best-known sports shops, JD Sports and JJB Sports, have been voted the worst retail chains on the high street.

Members of the consumer organisation Which? gave the chains scores of 36 and 37 out of 100 respectively when considering a variety of factors including shopping experience and customer service.

The electrical retailer Currys Digital came third from bottom, scoring 40 due to its “unhelpful and unknowledgeable staff.”

The 14,036 members of Which? were asked to give their views on products, price, staff and shopping environment and whether they would recommend the shop to a friend. 96 chains were included in the survey.

Waitrose and John Lewis, both part of the staff-owned John Lewis Partnership, came first and second overall, scoring 84 and 78, on account of their local price promise and courteous staff.

Independent electrical shops came third overall because of the expert advice their shopkeepers give to 21st Century shoppers facing the “bewildering” array of computers, cameras and TVs.

The survey showed customers will tolerate average or below customer experience if they consider the products to be strong value, as in the case of Aldi, which came seventh.

But in its report, Which? said shoppers felt that JD Sports and JJB Sports had neither good products nor helpful staff. “Once again, JJB Sports and JD Sports claim the dubious honour of being the bottom two and, like poor performers in other sectors, staff are a key letdown – both score a dismal one star for environment, staff and a mediocre two stars for product,” the report said.

“One member commented on the ‘congested’ nature of JJB Sports and another complained of ‘terrible customer service’ at JD Sports. Sportsworld [another sports shop] scored just one star for environment and staff and keeps its low 44 per cent customer score from last year, despite achieving the only five stars [for price] in this category.”

Bulletin boards are abuzz with tales of woe from people shopping or working in JD Sports and JJB Sports, as they are for many other retailers.

Of JD Sports, one sympathised with a customer complaining about its returns policy. “Dixie Chick” wrote: “I've probably have (sic) worse experiences with this shop. I worked there for a day and it was probably the worse (sic) experience ever.”

Another shopper, writing about JJB Sports, said: “Their staff and customer service is (sic) appalling. However I don't blame the staff. If I was a 17-year-old getting paid minimum wage, and no commission, being contractually obliged to work Saturdays, I'd not care too.

“By penny pinching they've bought themselves a poor reputation.”

According to Which?, shoppers’ biggest complaints in the survey were unhelpful or ignorant shop assistants.

"The collapse of familiar names like Woolworths and MFI shows just how tough it is on the high street,” commented Martyn Hocking, editor of Which? magazine.

“While slashing prices might get customers through the door, we know that shoppers value those stores that make shopping a pleasurable experience - those that offer quality products, have helpful staff and go the extra mile to give their customers a personal service."

JJB Sports said two leading businessmen, Sir David Jones, former executive chairman of Next, and Peter Williams, former chief executive of Selfridges, had been appointed to run the company. A spokesman said: “Following their appointment the board will be conducting a full review of the business including in-store operations.

“There is room for improvement.”

JD Sports declined to comment.

Which? online panel members rated their satisfaction with, and likelihood to recommend, 96 retail chains they visited regularly.

Which? then combined and weighted the answers given for the survey to provide final scores out of 100. The survey was carried out in October 2008.







Top 10 shops

1. Waitrose (84 per cent)

2. John Lewis (78 per cent)

3. Local specialist electrical retailers (75 per cent)

4. Lush (72 per cent)

= Local independent home or garden store (72 per cent)

6. Local independent home entertainment store (71 per cent)

7. Aldi (70 per cent)

8. Lidl (69 per cent)

= Waterstones (69 per cent)

10. Local independent sports and outdoor store (68 per cent)



Bottom 10 shops

86. Phones 4U (44 per cent)

= Vodafone (44 per cent)

= Sportsworld (44 per cent)

= PC World (44 per cent)

90. Topshop/Topman (43 per cent)

= Somerfield (43 per cent)

92. Currys (42 per cent)

= WHSmith (42 per cent)

94. Currys Digital (40 per cent)

95. JJB Sports (37 per cent)

96. JD Sports (36 per cent)

To see the full survey, click here

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SECONDARY SUPPLY TEACHERS NEEDED IN AND AROUND DARTFORD

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Description Randstad Education i...

SECONDARY SUPPLY TEACHERS NEEDED IN AND AROUND SWALE

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Description Randstad Education i...

Geography Teacher, full time supply role, Thanet Academy

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: The School Randstad are proud to...

Science Teacher, full time supply role, Thanet Academy

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: The School Randstad are proud to...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week