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Wegmans Food Markets and Costco, Inc. have been chosen the best grocery retailers in a consumer survey conducted by global customer intelligence solutions company Market Force Information, Inc., which will present insights from the survey in a webinar co-hosted by the American Marketing Association today at 12:00 p.m. CST. Wegmans was the consumer favorite in the supermarket category, while Costco came in first in the mass grocer category.
These findings emerged from a survey that Market Force conducted last month among a network of 300,000 independent mystery shoppers and merchandisers – consumers across the country the company calls “The Force.” Almost 6,000 consumers took part in the survey, which aimed to shed light on which grocers are preferred in the leading grocery categories, and why.
Interestingly, when the consumer group was asked to select their single favorite from a list of the country’s 118 top grocery supermarkets, Kroger came out on top, initially placing the Cincinnati-based Kroger in the No. 1 spot, with 11 percent of the votes. Publix and Safeway were next, with 8 percent and 7 percent, respectively.
But while Kroger has almost 2,500 stores in North America, Wegmans, with just 75 locations, scored 3 percent of the total votes for favorite supermarket. Since consumers are likely to vote for retailers most familiar to them, Market Force drilled down into its results to determine which store chain would win when number of stores was factored in. This analysis moved Wegmans to the top position with a 9 percent score, followed by ShopRite with a 5 percent score, and Albertsons and Whole Foods with 4 percent each.
Wegmans’ winning score was backed up by the answers to follow-up questions asking respondents about the characteristics they liked most about these supermarkets.
“From high-quality produce to courteous staff, cleanliness to inviting atmosphere, Wegmans is a standout favorite grocer with consumers,” noted Janet Eden-Harris, chief marketing officer at Boulder, Colo.-based Market Force. “The fact that it can deliver all of these key performance attributes, and also rank highest on providing low prices, is an enormous accomplishment, and clearly earns the chain renowned customer loyalty.”
When looking at mass grocers such as Walmart, Sam’s Club, Target and Costco, Market Force found similar results. While Walmart received the highest number of total votes, with fully 42 percent of the total, its store count was also factored in. When re-indexed based on the number of stores, Costco ended up the lead. That lead was again substantiated based on the consumer ranking of mass grocers against the attributes they care about most. Costco scored highest on 12 out of 16 attributes, tying for first for the rest.
To register for the webinar, visit www.marketforce.com.