15 August 2016 - Janet Bird
Online retailer ASOS has topped a poll to identify the country's most reputable fashion retailers.
The UK RepTrak list, compiled by the Reputation Institute, is based on almost 5,000 interviews with members of the public.
Respondents are asked to score companies from 0-100 based on how they performed against customer expectations across seven main areas linked to reputation – products and services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership and performance.
The retailers are then ranked according to the score they receive. Those who achieve scores of 80 and above are categorised as 'Excellent', while a score of 70-79 is deemed 'Strong'. A score of 60-69 is 'Average', 40-49 'Weak' and below 40 'Poor'.
Of the 17 big fashion retailers included in the poll, ASOS was the only one deemed 'Excellent', recording a score of 80.4.
Laura Ashley came second with a score of 77.8, closely followed by Debenhams at 77.4, Marks & Spencer at 77.0 and Next at 76.3.
At the other end of the table, the Arcadia Group scored 64 and Primark came bottom of the list with a score of 61.5.
While the poll demonstrated the perception of fashion retailers with the UK general public is generally positive, with ten companies in the sector having 'strong' reputations and only one point separating companies ranked between 2nd and 6th, it also demonstrated reputation is about more than the quality and desirability of the products stocked by a business.
The companies with the strongest reputations were those who were perceived as being ethical, caring about their workers and the world around them.