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Mary Portas: Retailers get to answer back

Retailers have the chance to respond to criticism on Mary Portas’ website, after the television retail guru launched a “retailer response tool” on its Secret Shopper forum.’s Secret Shopper area launched last months and invites members of the public to comment on customer service of major retailers, including fashion chains such as Monsoon Accessorize, Topshop, New Look and Primark.

The forum, which is linked to Mary Portas’ Secret Shopper series on Channel 4 series, is intended to be the retail equivalent of holiday review site Tripadvisor, where members of the public share their good and bad experiences and score the businesses out of five.

More than 12,000 members of the public have registered as secret shoppers, and 1,500 service reports had been posted on the site just 48 hours after launch. But the site has drawn criticism from retailers, who claim it is an inappropriately public forum to take individual members of staff to task.

According to Portas, the new retailer response tool launched today will enable them to “respond personally to each individual comment,” and stop complaints proliferating.

In an email to registered users this morning, she said: “Whether it’s thanking you for your loyal custom, or trying to solve your issues, the big brands will be able to use my site to reply to each and every one of you.
“What am I trying to achieve?  I think this country deserves better service, and I want to empower both customers and retailers to make it happen.”

What do you think? Is good or bad for retailers? Does it unfairly punish the wrong members of staff? Have your say below.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Mary Prtas is good in highlighting the areas within retail that need to be addressed. Albeit critisism is never welcome, there is a lot to be said about the lack of staff training within multiples. High Street retailers need to personalize their service and offer consumers the level of expectation and service offered by online companies. I work in wholesale fashion and travel extensively throughout the UK. I am always shocked at the lack of custoemr service offered by multiples and the appalling lack of service in changing rooms.....maybe that is why we need to support the independent retaillers who value their customers!!!!

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