- The latest American Consumer Satisfaction Index saw approval ratings for supermarkets grow 6.8% to a score of 78 out of 100 in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to The Shelby Report.
- Trader Joe’s led the way with a satisfaction score of 86, followed by Publix at 84. Aldi, H-E-B and Wegmans all tied for third place with 83.
- Overall retail satisfaction increased 4.7% to a score of 78.3 out of 100 — an all-time high for the retail sector, according to ACSI, and the first time in two years satisfaction has increased in the fourth quarter.
One of the reasons consumers are happy with supermarkets right now is price deflation. Another is holiday sales, which tend to lift both spirits and bottom lines in the fourth quarter.
But the high satisfaction numbers from ACSI also reflect the investments retailers are making in their stores. To stay competitive in a crowded industry, companies are remodeling stores, upgrading their private label brands, bringing in more premium products and focusing on price promotions. It’s a consumer-centric industry right now.
So what makes the top rated supermarkets stand out? Execution, uniqueness and price are a few common traits. Trader Joe’s, which took the top spot, seems to hit on all three. The retailer is delightfully quirky and offers high-quality items at value prices — it's the supermarket for people who love products.
Publix, meanwhile, executes at a high level, from its order-ahead deli options to its sophisticated store brand, Greenwise.
Aldi offers heavily discounted products in stores that will soon offer enhanced wine sections, larger organic and baked good sections and more, while Wegman’s is exalted by customers for its prepared food offerings.
Competing with these stores means finding ways to stand out in the marketplace. An average supermarket experience just won’t cut it these days, which is why you’re seeing grocers like Food Lion investing in extensive remodels.
While supermarket satisfaction is high, it comes up short against one key competitor: online retailers. According to the ACSI, Amazon beat all retailers except Trader Joe's with a satisfaction score of 86.