19th Jan 2018
John Lewis, Tesco and Next are among retailers to have revealed positive Christmas trading results.
The shops, which all received improved ratings in July’s UK Customer Satisfaction Index, enjoyed healthy takings over the festive period.
For underlying sales, John Lewis saw a rise of 3.1% over the festive trading period and Tesco revealed an increase of 3.4%. Meanwhile, Next’s total sales rose by 1.5%.
Companies that didn’t perform so well include Marks and Spencer, which suffered a 2.8% slump in its clothing and homeware sales, while House of Fraser saw sales fall by 2.9% in its stores.
Responding to the release of the figures, Jo Causon, Chief Executive of The Institute of Customer Service, said that the results were positive in the face of tricky circumstances: "The latest trading results are a clear indication that retailers are facing into a tough storm as they battle on three fronts – a highly competitive market, a volatile economic environment and savvy customers with ever-changing demands.
“In this context, John Lewis’s record Black Friday and strong Christmas sales are the signal to other retailers that placing customers at the heart of business strategy is the key to sustainable success. Our own research offers compelling arguments of a persistent link between high levels of customer satisfaction and turnover growth, long-term productivity and profitability – and it is clear that where customer needs are not at the forefront of boardroom thinking, sales performance suffers.
“The most recent UK Customer Satisfaction Index also found that 28% of customers favour excellent service even if it means paying more, whereas only 15% always want the cheapest deal.”