The flatpack revolution is here! Ikea overtakes John Lewis as Britain's favourite shopSwedish furniture chain tops list of nation's preferred stores thanks to attractive prices and customer satisfaction
'Never knowingly undersold' John Lewis slips to third place despite heart-warming ads
17:39 GMT, 18 April 2012
Flatpack giant Ikea has taken over from traditional John Lewis as Britain's favourite shop, an influential annual study reveals.
The Swedish furniture chain has finally worked its way up to the top of the nation's affections thanks to the way it keeps its customers satisfied, said experts.
And John Lewis, despite its heart-warming adverts and 'never knowingly undersold' reliability has slipped from first to third in the list from analysts Verdict Research.
Flying the flag for Swedish design in the UK: Ikea has been named Brits' favourite store
Sandwiched in second place, perhaps surprisingly, is affordable womenswear chain Bonmarche which has ridden out a rollercoaster year.
The store is popular with the more 'mature' woman yet has triumphed over the likes of Topshop, Next, M&S and H&M in the satisfaction rankings.
Verdict's annual poll of 6,000 consumers looks at the retailers who provide what the customer wants, as well as service, quality, a wide range and good value.
Both the High Street and online versions of the retailers are taken into account in the voting.
Relegated: john Lewis has slipped from first place in shoppers' affection down to third
Behind the top three, Play.com was in fourth and H&M in fifth overall.
In the individual categories, Primark was voted best for price, shoe shop Schuh had the best range, John Lewis offered the best service and Waitrose the best quality.
However, Ikea had the best combination of everything.
Verdict chief Maureen Hinton said: 'Ikea's move from second place last year to top the polls in 2012 reflects the strength of its offer at a time when consumers are cutting back on spending on the home.
'It has an extensive stylish range at attractive prices and with the majority of consumers on a tight budget, it has something for everyone.'
Bonmarche's future looked in doubt when parent company Peacocks went bust but it was sold off to a private equity group who made redundancies to keep the chain alive.
Surprise hit: Women's fashion website Bonmarche shrugged off financial struggles to make it into second place
Hinton said: 'Bonmarche has a niche target, the mature female shopper, but these women are well served by the retailer, and this is reflected in its score.'
She added that shoppers looked at price above everything else but not at the expense of everything else.
She said: 'Value remains top of the list of priorities mind for consumers this year. But this is reflected not only in seeking low prices, but in prioritising quality, service and range.
'Consumers have higher expectations from their preferred retailer and seek a shopping experience that ticks all the boxes.'