Boots has replaced Marks & Spencer at the top of a ranking of brands among women.
The pharmacy chain climbed from third place in last year’s YouGov BrandIndex’s Women’s Rankings despite sparking controversy when saying it would not lower the price of its generic brand of emergency hormonal contraception as it did not want to be accused of “incentivising inappropriate use” – a decision it later reversed.
John Lewis took second place in the rankings, followed by Heinz, while M&S dropped to fourth place, one place ahead of BBC One.
The rankings use YouGov’s brand tracking data and are based upon whether a respondent has a positive or negative impression of a brand.
Although Boots achieved the highest score overall, M&S took the top position among those aged between 35 and 49 and the over 50s.
Swedish furniture giant Ikea is the most popular among those aged between 18 and 34.
Amelia Brophy, UK head of data products at YouGov, said: “Despite a tough time for high street retailers, Boots has cemented itself as a force among female shoppers.
“Women’s impression of the brand has improved in the face of some negative press around its morning after pill pricing, which threatened to damage its reputation.”
She added: “M&S remains a well-regarded brand, despite its drop from the top spot. As we’d expect, it is particularly popular among middle-aged and older women.
“It has enacted various strategies to appeal to younger consumers, and that still remains a challenge.”
The rankings also reveal which brands have seen the biggest increase in impression among women over the past year, with Netflix taking the most-improved spot with a score increase of 7.3 points.
McDonald’s achieved the second most-improved place with a score increase of 6.8 points, followed by discount retailer B&M bargains, Compare the market and Tesco.