Survey Says Kohl’s is Top Fashion Retailer

Kohl’sis the nation’s favorite fashion retail chain for the third year in a row, according to an annual consumer survey conducted by customer intelligence solutions provider Market Force Information. Nordstrom ranked as consumers’ second favorite, followed by Macy’s, Dillard’s and JCPenney.

Market Force conducted the fashion retail survey in October 2011. The pool of almost 7,000 survey respondents ranged in age 18 and up and reflected a broad spectrum of income levels, with three-quarters reporting incomes of more than $50,000 a year. Eighty one percent were women, the primary household consumer purchasers. Half of the participants said they have children at home.

Here’s a look at the Top 10 fashion retail chains (in alphabetical order), and what the survey respondents liked and didn’t like about them:

Ann Taylor Loft underperformed all others on the top 10 in every category. Best scored are for the loyalty program benefits, service offered by associates, and having merchandise that “matches my style.”

Coldwater Creek underperformed all competitors in every category except benefits offered through the loyalty card program and had very good service scored. Had average scored (middle of the pack) for dressings rooms and making it a pleasure to shop there. Scored particularly low on availability of specific designers.

Dillard’s scored exceptionally well on availability of specific designers—59% better than the competitors’ average. Had very low scored for providing a no-hassle return policy, and all other scores are under the competitive average. There are some issues with the ease of finding items in the store—comparatively lower when looking at Dillard’s only data.

JCPenney had extremely high scored across the board in comparison to competitors. Scored exceptionally well on ability to find what consumer is looking for and finding merchandise that “matches my style.” Also generally had good parking availability.

Kohl’s set the standard on all attributes, outdistancing competitors by two to four times on almost all attributes. Extremely high scored for making it a pleasure to shop there as well as providing a no hassle return policy. Had the best scored by far for price—clear leadership here.

Macy’s scored well against competitors, and leads on having availability of specific designers. Extremely low on benefits of a loyalty program (need to check what’s offered); also score quite well on the service provided by associates. Scored relatively well on pricing. A well-rounded competitor.

Marshalls had by far the highest scored for the loyalty program, but significantly lag competitors on all other attributes with the exception of availability of specific designers. Had solid scored for pricing, though under-performing in comparison to competitors. Extremely low scored for service and atmosphere.

Nordstrom appeared as a solid player with high scored for service—though the service score is actually lower than Kohl’s or Macy’s. Had very poor scored for pricing, and surprisingly for providing a no-hassle return policy.

Old Navy scored worse than top 10 competitors on all attributes, though they are nearly the average on perceptions of price. Have high scored for availability of specific designers. Quite poor scored for dressing rooms and making it a pleasure to shop there. Next to lowest scored on service.

TJ Maxx scored best on prices and availability of specific designers. Lowest scored on service across the top 10. Definitely underperformed the competitors across most attributes.

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