"Our annual secret shopper survey is incredibly important in benchmarking the customer experience and yet again the sector has done us extremely proud with a fantastic level of outstanding scores."
City centre stores and restaurants achieved an average score of 85%, making it one of the top UK locations assessed by national market research company, Storecheckers, which conducted the independent survey in May this year.
330 city centre businesses across thirteen categories including Jewellery, Health and Beauty, Technology, Food and Drink and Fashion took part with 30 city centre businesses scoring a perfect 100%. The survey also revealed a surge in pride in the city by stores and businesses with local knowledge and love for the city up by 14% from 69% in 2017 to 83% in 2018. Sales skills across the city have improved yet again with scores rising to 98% compared to 91% in 2017 with staff across the city also receiving full marks for product knowledge, scoring an impressive 100% across the board.
The mystery shopping exercise, now in its the third year, is commissioned annually by Manchester BID which commenced its second five-year term in April following a successful renewal ballot which saw 77% of voters back the continuation of the BID. The ‘Yes’ vote secured an additional £6 million of investment into the city’s retail district over the next five years, helping Manchester retain and reinforce its standing as the UK’s leading retail destination outside of London.
The results of the survey and winners of the thirteen categories were revealed at an Awards Breakfast held today (Thursday 21 June) at the Royal Exchange Theatre, with staff from the winning stores receiving a whole host of experience-led prizes including hotel stays, complimentary meals and theatre tickets, courtesy of some of the city’s top hotels, restaurants and venues.
Two stores picked up an award for the second year running with House of Fraser taking home the Multi Gender Fashion Large Store award and Jones Bootmaker winning the Footwear award for the second consecutive year.
Full list of Manchester BID Mystery Shop Awards 2018 Category Winners:
Advised Customer Service: Trailfinders, Deansgate
Banking: TSB, Cross Street
Jewellery: Mappin & Webb, St Ann Street
Single Gender Men’s Fashion: Intro, Deansgate
Single Gender Women’s Fashion: DKNY, King Street
Multi Gender Fashion Large Store: House of Fraser, Deansgate
Multi Gender Fashion: White Stuff, King Street
Footwear: Jones Bootmaker, King Street
Food & Beverage Dine in: Grafene, King Street
Food & Beverage Take Out: Taco Bell, Manchester Arndale
Health & Beauty: The Body Shop, Market Street
Technology: EE, Market Street
Home & Lifestyle: Whitewall Galleries, King Street
Phil Schulze, Manchester BID Manager said: “Our annual secret shopper survey is incredibly important in benchmarking the customer experience provided by city centre stores and businesses and yet again the sector has done us extremely proud with a fantastic level of outstanding scores. This year’s results have also revealed a great sense of pride in the city with retail staff proving to be real ambassadors for the city, which perfectly aligns with our ethos of working collectively to ensure city centre retail continues to thrive.
“The survey also allows us to recognise the efforts of individual stores and businesses through thirteen sector specific awards and we’d like to congratulate these winners all of whom have demonstrated service excellence at the highest level.”