10.09.2012

International chains offer better experiences than Finnish stores

Survey reveals that notably international clothing chains provide customers with superior service and aesthetic quality in their stores.

International companies come out on top in a new survey about the quality of retail chain stores in Finland conducted by Retail Lab Helsinki and the advertising agency Bob Helsinki. The survey is based on almost 800 test purchases in more than 80 retail chain stores, with each chain visited 8-14 times. The undercover researchers assessed each store in terms of the quality of the customer service, ease of shopping, quality of customer service, ability to inspire purchases, and the aesthetic quality of the store.

In the survey, United Colours of Benetton emerges as the best store overall, scoring the highest points for the quality of customer experience, the quality of customer service and the aesthetic quality of the stores. Ikea is judged the best store for inspiring purchases, and Humac People for its ease of shopping. Other international retail chains that score well in the survey include JC, VILA, Hemtex, Esprit, Glitter and Brothers.

Stockmann is highest ranked Finnish store, scoring consistently well across all the categories. Other Finnish retailers that feature among the top ten performers in some of the categories include Marimekko, Pentik, Timanttiset, Kultajousi, Kodin 1, and Vepsäläinen.

Clothes stores lead the way

According to the survey, the general quality of customer experience in the retail chain stores in Finland is fairly good but there are big differences between different retail sectors and between the chains. Department stores and clothes stores fared the best in the survey.

In particular, international clothes chains are strong in customer service and the aesthetic quality of the stores. Budget stores, kiosks and daily consumer goods stores have the most room for improvement. The biggest issues facing Finnish stores identified by the survey are the readiness of their staff to provide customer service and the ability of the store environment to inspire unplanned purchases.

Source: Federation of Finnish Commerce