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Yorkshire pharmacy chain enters top 10 in rankings of 500 major UK retailers in Q2

Little known Yorkshire-based family-owned pharmacy chain HI Weldrick dramatically shot up the table of the best performing websites in Q2 with a climb of 423 places. By Glynn Davis


Yorkshire pharmacy chain enters top 10 in rankings of 500 major UK retailers in Q2

The pharmacy climbed to eighth spot, according to the latest results from the quarterly testing of the Retail 500 of top UK online stores.

This follows its move up 18 places in Q1 when it climbed from a lowly 449th spot in the final quarter of 2012, which placed it in the bottom 10, thereby marking a dramatic change in its fortunes this year. 

Its score of 7.10 leaves it close to a top 5 spot where another relative minnow Greenhalghs Craft Bakery holds fifth place with a score only marginally more at 7.36. This is still some way behind the new leader this quarter as DFS regains the top spot with a score of 9.52 that beats its 9.34 in Q1.

The testing of the 500 sites is undertaken by Sitemorse using automated software that, page-by-page reads the first 125 pages of each retailer’s sites to generate a ranked table based on checks to Quality, User Experience, Accessibility, Performance and SEO capability of each of the websites.

Lawrence Shaw, chief executive of Sitemorse, says: “The presence of Greenhalghs and HI Weldrick in the top 10 highlights how the best performing websites are not necessarily those of the big boys who have lots of resources. In fact, there are a host of smaller retailers in the upper echelon, with Pownall Carpets, The Whisky Shop and Beds Direct among the mix in the top 10.”

Each of these smaller independents moved up, or at least held their position, in the table this quarter that suggests they might have something to teach their larger retail rivals. 

One big name that has made a significant move in Q2 is Primark that climbed 196 places to 25th spot, which maybe highlights its serious intent online. However, it has publicly argued that the costs of fulfilling online orders has held it back from launching a transactional site despite its younger demographic likely to be major online shoppers. 

In contrast, rival fashion retailer H&M took the plunge and sells from its site. It maintains a position ahead of Primark as it stands at 20th place having fallen three spots this quarter. This is a minor decline compared with a batch of retailers in the bottom 10 who have each suffered triple-digit collapses. Timberland (UK) has fared the worst with its fall of 308 places into 447th spot, and is followed by Wallis with a fall of 293 places, TM Lewin declined 190 places, and The Body Shop dropped 126 places. 

They are among a catalogue of big fallers in the bottom 50 in Q2 that includes numerous big name retailers that have serious online presences including Tesco Direct in 443rd spot, in 436th position, Next in 411th, and the mighty Amazon in 402nd place. 

The final ranked table for Q1 includes only 449 retailers because merchants were excluded from the testing if they used assistive technology such as JavaScript, which breaks the general “rules of accessibility” of internet sites, according to Sitemorse. This rather worryingly represents yet another increase in excluded sites as the table comprised 454 retailers in Q1 and 459 when it was tested at the end of 2012.

Click here to view the results.


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