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Mary Portas to list public's best and worst retailers

Retail guru Mary Portas has asked the public to name the best and worst retailers for customer service, and will publish the details weekly on her website.

The online initiative ties in with her four-part Channel 4 series, “Mary Portas: Secret Shopper”, which launches tonight at 9pm and will follow Portas as she goes undercover to expose poor customer service at major retailers.

Her website will allow users to vote on their best and worst stores as well as add their own customer service experiences.

In an email to fans she said: “For my new Channel 4 series Mary Portas: Secret Shopper I’m waging war on poor customer service and I need your help to secret shop the UK and report your findings. So, if you’re driven up the wall by half wit sales assistants and left unloved by faceless retailers who are all too happy to take your money but leave you short-changed with service then click here to vent your frustration. 

“As well as showing up the culprits I want to highlight those retailers who are really brilliant at treating their customers properly - and each week I’ll publish the best (and the worst) shops in Britain, as voted for by you.”

The site,, also includes a list of products, articles, music and exhibitions recommended by Portas. An interactive map, called Shop Maps, will showcase her favourite independent retailers. Users will be able to add their own reviews to the site.

This evening’s episode will focus on value fashion retailers including Primark.

Readers' comments (6)

  • This is too much a personal attack, and unjustified humiliation of most likely, young student part time sales assistance, who also, most definately will be on a minimum wage.

    I think Mary Portas should stand back, and not exploit her undisputable valid, and respected position in the fashion industry to make herself some extra dosh through the shock factor that the public will buy into through these programmes, and online schemes like this at the expense of most likely, part time sales assistance who recieve very little in terms of pay, but are expected grade 10 effort in return.

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  • She has at last lost the plot !! how low can she go to live up to her own press, we were asked to take part my view was why would anyone open the doors to this woman who only has one aim and that is to build her own image!! queen of shops ? or out for herself ?

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  • Ooh, I admit when I read about this I was a bit put off by the way TV scripting has turned this into another Big Brother episode. The new desease of today seems to be the good old "resurfacing of" the witch hunt! Is it a British past time? All about who we can point the finger at and feed like raw meet to the vultures ie media? Yes yes, keep making the media and these celebrity monsters rich. What is this obsession with instilling fear in people to the point of making everyone paranoid? Do we really have to reiterate this recipe for American style paranoia over this side of the Atlantic? Very disappointing!

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  • No one should have the right to publicly defame and belittle innocent people or just people in general the way the media does. This style of naming and shaming people should be against the law. Why does no one speak against this? I don't understalnd?

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  • Poor and bad service should be highlighted doesn’t matter how or by whom. Most big high street retailers are there just by default because the small independents can’t get and or afford the rents and rates to be on the high street.
    For independents customers are a life line but for the big guys customers are just “footfall” and if they loose some so what they soon get more because the poor customer have nowhere else to go. That’s whys the high street is all so bland
    Working in a shop has always been look down up as menial in this country. We are all selling something be it our skill or goods so why the snobbery.

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  • Portas is totally unrealistic and is verging on self parody. We all know that all areas in the clothing industry leave a lot to be desired, but many staff are paid a minimum wage who simply do retail as a stop gap - you aren't going to get consistently good service. It should also be stated that these days many customers do not want any service, they want to be left alone. As an independent retailer, there is an increasing lack of engagement between salesperson and customer. While there is always room for improvement, there isn't the money or the will in the trade to achieve her aims.

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