Waitrose has emerged top of the major retailers for customer satisfaction in a new survey by consumer body Which?.

The retailer was awarded a score of 79% for customer satisfaction, comfortably ahead of upmarket rival Marks & Spencer on 64%.

Discounters Aldi and Lidl both placed ahead of the big four supermarkets, each notching up a score of 61%. Sainsbury’s led the big four with a score of 58%, with Morrisons on 56% and Tesco and Asda both scoring just 49%.

“The success of some budget supermarkets in our survey proves that savvy shoppers can make the most of their money without compromising on quality,” said Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith.

Meanwhile, a separate survey found that the UK’s retail sector provided the highest level of customer satisfaction in the country.

The John Lewis Partnership and Waitrose took the top two places for individual companies in the survey, with M&S third, while food retailers broadly outperformed non-food.

“It is no coincidence that retail has turned in such a strong performance in the latest UK Customer Service Index – and that we are seeing strong Christmas trading results from retailers such as John Lewis, Morrisons and Tesco,” said Jo Causon, chief executive of the UK Institute of Customer Service.

“The retail sector is intensely competitive and cannot afford to take its eye off the ball when it comes to customer service – especially during the recession, when consumers are careful about where they spend their money, and retailers are having to fight for every penny.”

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