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NEW YORK - American grocery shoppers are generally happy with the supermarket they shop most often, but they still have complaints, finds a Consumer Reports poll featured in the magazine's October issue. Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans, Monrovia, Calif.-based Trader Joe's, and Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets were the best-rated chains among readers, based on service, perishables, price, and cleanliness.
Of 24,000 consumers polled, about 30 percent griped about closed checkouts, 16 percent about congested aisles, and 11 percent about out-of-stock advertised specials. Forty-two percent of readers had actually quit shopping at a nearby store they used to patronize, citing high prices, long waits, and poor selection, among other problems.
The top-ranked conventional supermarkets - Wegmans, Publix, West Sacramento, Calif.-based Raley's, and Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter - generally scored high for service; meat, produce, and baked goods; and cleanliness.
However, they weren't ranked as high for price. Many of the chains that scored high for offering low prices fell short in other critical areas. Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Supercenters, for instance, which finished near the bottom of the list, ranked high for prices, but low for service.
Consumer Report's ranking of 54 supermarkets is available for free to the magazine's online subscribers, as well as in the magazine's October print issue. Also included in the issue is an article with tips to help shoppers "shop smarter, cheaper, and faster" at supermarkets.