Wawa and Costco (NASDAQ:COST) are consumers' favorite places to buy gas, according to a recent study by Market Force. For some consumers, 69 percent, their most recent trip to the pump was at a convenience store, while 31 percent chose a grocery store, wholesale club or big-box retailer, the study reported.
When it comes to satisfaction, 68 percent of respondents rated Wawa as the place they would most likely refer to others, edging out QuickTrip, 62 percent and Sheetz, 59 percent, reported National Association for Convenience Stores (NACS).
In the category of delivering on customer satisfaction, including service and appearance, respondents ranked Wawa as the top spot in the food category, and QuickTrip ranked first for customer service and appearance for the second year in a row. Sheetz had the favorite loyalty program and Wawa won out for best coffee.
"With the plethora of options available to drivers, gas stations and convenience stores must both execute flawlessly on the basics like bright, appealing imaging and deliver in experience-related areas such as customer service and specialty foods," Cheryl Flink, chief strategy officer for Market Force Information told NACS.
The consumers surveyed also preferred wholesale clubs over grocery stores and big-box retailers for gas, as wholesale clubs also led the group in loyalty, with Costco, BJ's Wholesale Club and Sam's Club taking the top spots, followed by Kroger and Walmart.
For customer satisfaction, Costco took the top spot in five of the nine categories, followed by BJ's.
In addition, the study revealed that fuel-related apps were growing in popularity, specifically those looking for lower gas prices. Of those surveyed, 10 percent had used a gas app, and 78 percent of those who had used an app were using it to compare gas prices or find a gas station.
-See this NACS article
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Convenience stores make up 34% of all US retail outlets