Study: H&M luring the most new customers to its stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Boulder, Col. — More consumers are trying new fashion retailers this year compared to last year – and most are buying when they do. H&M is the retailer that consumers reported visiting for the first time most often, followed by Kohl’s, Macy’s, Abercrombie & Fitch and Forever 21.

That’s according to a survey of 4,000 consumers by Market Force Information, a global customer intelligence solutions company, which found that 39% had tried a new retailer in the past three months, an increase from 32% in 2011 and 14% in 2010.

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 fast-fashion 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.

Market Force also found:

  • Sales/promotions were the leading impetus for those who tried a new retailer — newspaper, TV and magazine ads ranked among the lowest.
  • Consumers were most likely to try a new store when shopping for casual clothing versus business attire.
  • Highly satisfied consumers were six times more likely to recommend a retailer to others. The retailers that delivered a top-notch experience saw the payoff in the cash register. Of the shoppers who reported being highly satisfied by their initial visit, 90% said they made a purchase. The most-bought items were casual clothes, accessories, business apparel and evening wear. Those highly satisfied customers also planned to return – 90% said they would shop at this retailer again within the next 90 days.
  • Social media has lost some of its influence on retailer preferences.

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