Sports Direct finishes bottom in customer satisfaction as pandemic weighs on ratings

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·2 min read
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/06/15: Sports Direct logo seen at one of their branches. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Sports Direct ranked bottom in Which?'s consumer survey. Photo: Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Discount retailer Sports Direct notched last place in a consumer survey rating the best places to buy outdoor and sports equipment. 

A Which? survey of 10,000 shoppers found its after sales service, product guarantees and COVID-19 response lacking, while rating retailers such as Rohan, Sweaty Betty and Cotswold Outdoors top three. 

The Mike Ashley-owned business propped up the table of 29 retailers with a disappointing customer score of 65%, with shoppers only giving it two stars for its after sales service and its guarantees.

It sat alongside Costco.co.uk (customer score 67%), Littlewoods.com (67%), American Golf (68%), House of Fraser (69%) and Debenhams (69%) in the bottom six.

Sports Direct only received two stars for its COVID-19 response, where shoppers were asked to rate stores and websites on how well they communicated pandemic-related changes such as queueing systems, social distancing measures and delivery delays. The retailer received the lowest rating of any retailer for this measure.

It had previously been embroiled in a row about whether it was an "essential" retailer and therefore would be allowed to open alongside supermarkets and pharmacies in the depths of UK lockdowns. 

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Outdoor clothing retailer Rohan impressed consumers with its product quality, staff helpfulness and knowledge and its guarantee – garnering five stars for all three ratings.

Over a third of those who shopped there said they regularly buy their technical clothing from Rohan, with one shopper saying: “We always shop here. Great atmosphere and service. High quality technical clothing made to look like every day clothing.”

Sports and footwear giant Nike (77%) put in a respectable performance with four star ratings for its range and product quality and for value for money.

Outdoor specialists Blacks (72%) and Mountain Warehouse (73%) finished in the middle of the pack, with three stars for product quality and after sales service.

Top retailers:

1. Rohan (105) 87%

2. Sweaty Betty (46) 82%

3. Cotswold Outdoors (130) 79%

4. Wiggle.co.uk (76) 78%

5. Decathlon (190) 77% / Ebay.co.uk (254) 77% / Nike (153) 77%

Bottom retailers:

29. Sports Direct (326) 65%

27. Costco.co.uk (68) 67% / Littlewoods.com (49) 67%

26. American Golf (96) 68%

24. House of Fraser (52) 69% / Debenhams (86) 69%

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