Research from a new Market Force study reveals H&M, Kohl's and Macy's are luring the most potential new consumers into their stores. Rounding out the top five are Abercrombie & Fitch and Forever 21 as the retailers with the most first-time visits.
Out of the top-ranking retailers in the study, H&M did the best job of attracting new customers for the second time in a row. The Swedish retailer received the highest ranking when the survey votes were indexed to account for number of locations per chain. Kohl's secured the No. 2 spot, up from its sixth-place finish in Market Force's previous retail study in late 2011, and Macy's moved from No. 11 up to third place. Coldwater Creek and White House | Black Market both fell significantly this year from their top-five ranking in 2011.
Of the consumers who recently ventured into a new retailer, 60 percent said they were delighted by their experiences, while 40 percent were neutral or negative. Of the shoppers who reported being highly satisfied by their initial visit, 90 percent said they made a purchase. Those highly satisfied customers also planned to return — 90 percent said they would shop at this retailer again within the next 90 days.
"For all of the focus on discounts and deals to drive shopping in this post-Great Recession environment, it's a testament to see how much satisfaction is the retail industry's real growth engine," said Janet Eden-Harris, chief marketing officer for Market Force. "In our findings, consumers who gave a five out of five satisfaction score were six times more likely to recommend the retailer to others than those who gave a four out of five. Focusing on great service and in-store execution is the best investment a retailer can make to grow same-store sales."
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