Queues for service in retail stores cost the UK economy £3.4 billion

Published on February 19th 2018
By Anne-Marie Lavelle

Queues for service in retail stores cost the UK economy £3.4 billion



Retailers lose 10% of footfall due to queues and wait times in store. 26% of customers who walk out of customers will discontinue their purchase journey completely.

London, United Kingdom – 13th June 2017: Recent research conducted by, Qudini, an award-winning London based SaaS customer experience management platform offering queue management and appointment booking software to retailers [OT1], has revealed that 26% of customers who walk out of stores due to long waiting times and poor customer service will discontinue their purchase completely, costing British retailers £3.4 billion a year.

The findings were revealed in the company’s latest whitepaper ‘The new frontier of customer experience’ released today, which looks to provide an insight into the existing challenges that brick-and-mortar retailers face in trying to overcome increasing operational costs, efficiencies and customer touch points such as social media and identifying ways of how to overcome them.

Across the board, Qudini’s research found that the average retailer will lose 10%[1] of its footfall due to queues and waiting times for service. With the average retailer’s qualified[2] footfall at 1,100 per month, and the national average spend of a retail customer at £39.72 per visit, and a total of 290,000 retailers in the UK: this means that UK retailers in aggregate lose a total of £15 billion in potential sales each year due to walkouts from their stores[3]. Qudini’s research goes on to highlight that whilst some customers might turn to competitor stores or the internet to continue their purchase, on average 26%[4] of customers will discontinue their purchase journey entirely, costing the UK economy approximately £3.4 billion in potential revenue.

Commenting on the findings, Imogen Wethered, CEO of Qudini, said: “With online now allowing consumers to have more choice, convenience and cheaper prices, they have become increasingly impatient and demanding within bricks-and-mortar retail stores. They expect retailers to deliver a superior service and in-store experience. Poor customer experience and long waiting times are no longer acceptable. As a result, retailers need to ensure that they are reviewing key customer pain points and integrating the right technologies and solutions.”

“Our insight shows that on average 10% of customers who walk into store for service are walking out dissatisfied because of wait times. This represents significant losses for UK retailers, and for the overall UK economy.”

She added: “What this shows is that retailers need to shift their focus from being transaction focused to being service based and looking to their stores as experiential hubs. Hopefully this research will have identified the areas where retailers can make improvements to enhance the customer experience.”

To download the whitepaper, The New Frontier of Customer Experience’, click here

About Qudini

Qudini provides Customer Experience Management technology that helps retailers to deliver fantastic in-store experiences and service, through: taking bookings for appointments and events online, and by digitally managing customers queuing up for service or to collect click & collect orders.

Qudini works with Enterprise retail brands including O2, Telefonica Global and John Lewis (as well as NHS clinics and restaurant brands such as Honest Burgers, Flat Iron and Hoppers). Across their customer base, they have shown that their queue management system is able to reduce store walkouts by 3-5% (up to 62%), this achieved through helping to give customers accurate wait time estimates and personalised updates as they progress in the queue.

[1] Walkout % from retail stores: Qudini independent company research

[2] Customers walking into store expecting to have some kind of interaction or make a purchase

[3] Average retail customer spend (£39.82) and number of retail outlets UK (290,315): https://www.statista.com/statistics/412509/shopping-spend-by-location-great-britain-uk/

[4]% of customers discontinuing their purchase journey: Qudini independent company research

Download our whitepaper to learn more

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Sign-up to our webinar to understand how Customer Experience is the frontier for retailer’s competitive differentiation

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