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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Why Consumer Reports Lists Walmart Near the Bottom of the Heap in Supermarket Rankings

Every year, Consumer Reports publishes a survey ranking the nation's top 50 or more largest grocery store chains. Rankings are based on consumer satisfaction in the areas of prices, selection, quality of products, and ease of checkout lanes. Guess who ended up near the bottom of the heap? Walmart!

The biggest losers

It may come as a big surprise to some, but 80 percent of Walmart shoppers cited complaints about the store. Everyone wants to save money at the grocery store these days, of course. But they also want a good selection (no one wants to shop at several stores in one day), good products, and easy checkout. This is where Walmart and others lose out big time. The biggest complaint by Walmart shoppers was not enough open checkout lanes. Other complaints included out-of-stock merchandise, employee attitude, confusing pricing and store layout. The only area where Walmart consistently rated high was price. But shoppers seem to want more than price.

Others on the losers list included Shaw's, Pathmark (A&P), Tops, Safeway, Acme and Pick 'n Save.

The winners

The winners, based on consumer responses, included Costco's, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Wegmans, Publix and Sprouts Farmers Markets. Why did these stores score higher on the list? Good prices, fresh products, variety of brands and assortments, and service. Well, isn't that what grocery shoppers are looking for in the first place?

The twist

Consumer Reports has been publishing supermarket rankings for four years now, and the results have been fairly consistent regarding the winners and losers. It leaves one to thinking, why aren't the losers getting this? You would think after four years they would have a better idea of how to best serve their customers and gain their business and loyalty.
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