Inside This Issue - News
Consumers rate supermarkets
April 16th, 2012
NEW YORK – Wegmans Food Markets Inc., Trader Joe’s Co. and Publix Super Markets Inc. provide the best overall shopping experience, a recent Consumer Reports survey shows.
After polling more than 24,000 shoppers, Consumer Reports has released its findings in the May issue of its magazine.
"One-third of the subscribers we surveyed said they had given the heave-ho to a nearby grocery store," the published report adds. Of that number, "43% fired a grocer in search of lower prices; about 25% cited poor selection, long lines or lousy food; 17% blamed employee rudeness; 14%, the crowds."
The poll, which Consumer Reports conducts annually, found that shoppers are becoming more discriminating because they know they have more options.
As a result, the report notes, many supermarket shoppers are more sensitive about experiences that may fall short of their expectations.
"Of the 24,203 readers who told us about 42,695 supermarket experiences, more than half had at least one complaint about their current store; almost a third cited two or more," the report says. "Even high-rated chains such as Raley’s [in the West] and Wegmans [mid-Atlantic] gave plenty of readers something to criticize."
The most frequent complaints voiced by shoppers dealt with an inadequate amount of checkout lanes, congested or cluttered aisles, and advertised specials that were out of stock.
Other problems included inept bagging, missing prices and scanner overcharges.
While Wegmans, Trader Joe’s and Publix received the best ratings, readers were highly critical of other grocery chains.
"No chains tried their customers’ patient more than Walmart Supercenters, Pathmark and Pic ‘n’ Save, where roughly three-fourths of shoppers had one or more problems," the report says.
For example, Walmart, the country’s largest grocer and the company with the most shoppers who participated in the poll, was frequently criticized for not having open checkouts, being out of stock on regular items, and having indifferent employees, spotty pricing and confusing store layouts. The chain, however, was praised for its low prices.
At Pathmark, 13% of the respondents who shop there said they had been overcharged, a rate that was almost twice the average of other chains.