Wegmans and Trader Joe's rank as the top grocery stores in the country by customers in the latest Consumer Reports survey. At the opposite end of that list is Walmart (NYSE: WMT), as the world's largest grocer landed at the bottom of the ratings.
Rankings were determined by voting in categories that included service, perishables and cleanliness. With an overall score of 88 out of 100, Wegmans edged out Trader Joe's (87) to top the list. The top five was rounded out by Publix, Costco (NASDAQ: COST) and Sprouts Farmers Market.
Wegmans scored high points for prepared foods and for having the fewest complaints among its customers, despite having the second-highest rating for prices, proof that shoppers are willing to pay a little more at Wegmans if they can count on a pleasurable experience.
Trader Joe's received the highest possible ratings for service, prices and cleanliness, and the second-highest rating for perishables. Both Wegmans and Trader Joe's received the highest possible scores for service, as judged by the courtesy of employees and checkout speed.
Walmart was the least favorite grocery, with 8 out of 10 shoppers making at least one complaint about the retail giant, including items not being in stock, spotty price labeling or a lack of open checkout lanes.
In addition to ranking supermarket chains, the study also collected user feedback about grocers overall. The biggest gripe among consumers is not enough open checkouts (cited by 19 percent of shoppers), followed by congested aisles, out-of-stock advertised specials and lack of choice. One-third of subscribers surveyed told Consumer Reports they had quit shopping at a nearby grocery store in the past year, mostly because of high prices, but also because of long waits, inadequate selection or poor food quality. Fifty-eight percent of respondents gave a store the boot because of prices, compared with 43 percent in 2011.
-See this Consumer Reports press release
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