Financial News

  • 7 May 2013, 8:34

Shoppers 'Annoyed' By 'Robotic' Sales Staff

Most Britons find the "robotic" shopping culture of sales staff asking if they want help a turn-off, a study has found.

Two-thirds of shoppers (68%) find offers of assistance from pushy staff annoying, according to the survey of more than 11,000 people by

They said they would rather be left alone to browse than be asked "Can I help you?" by over-zealous members of staff.

However, a fifth of those surveyed (19%) thought there was no harm in being approached and said it saved them having to seek out help.

The website said many people who work in stores have no choice but to approach customers with offers of assistance.

Martin Lewis, the creator of, said: "It seems Brits are rejecting the seeming robotisation of shopping, and prefer staff to give help when they're asked rather than pouncing as soon as we cross the threshold.

"A huge majority of people would simply prefer to be left alone to browse.

"Yet shop assistants tell us they're forced to do this - hopefully retailers will remember the customer is always right and listen to the poll."

Mr Lewis also suggested the manner of the approach by retail staff could be putting consumers off.

He said: "An open 'Do let me know if you need any help' is far less off-putting than the closed 'Can I help?'."