This year is likely to see no let-up in the the pressure on high street retailers, as the impact of Brexit continues to make shoppers wary, following a particularly tough Christmas in 2018.
In a new whitepaper, YouGov asks ‘Is there still hope for the high street?’, analysing how consumers’ perceptions of retail brands are faring in this environment. Among its key findings are:
Department stores lead the high street on satisfaction and quality…
Despite the well publicised financial struggles of the high street, the UK’s biggest department store chains haven’t lost their reputation for customer service or product quality.
YouGov’s average satisfaction index score for Debenhams, House of Fraser, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer is double that of the high street retail sector overall (35 versus 17). The situation has barely changed in the past four years, with the gap narrowing by only three points.
It’s a similar story where quality scores are concerned, where the gap is even bigger (46 versus 18).
…but their brand health is on the wane…
However there has been a steady drop in the department stores’ overall brand health, which combines six separate metrics including value, recommendation and reputation. Their average health score has gone down from 37 in 2014 to just 32 today.
…and they struggle to show value
A big driver of the department stores’ falling brand health is that they are seeing dramatic declines in perceptions of value. In a time of constrained spending, consumers no longer think the high street’s biggest department stores offer good value for money.
There are positive examples to learn from
It’s not all doom and gloom in today’s retail sector. Given value is a key factor in retaining and attracting customers, four brands in particular show good signs for the future – Ikea, Primark, Next and Asos – having achieved much better value scores in the past year.
Also in YouGov’s white paper
- Could Toys R Us make a comeback in Britain?
- How John Lewis is struggling to appeal to young consumers
- Who is behind Next’s changing fortunes