Consumer Reports recently came out with survey results regarding how American retailers stack up against each other. The survey asked respondents to judge eleven retail stores on service, speed of checkout, value for money, ease of returning items, product quality, as well as problems with the stores or staff. There were 30,666 Consumer Reports subscribers that took part in the survey and the results are great if you are Costco, not so stellar if you are Walmart or Kmart. After all the results were tallied, Costco topped the list as the favorite retail store, with Dillard’s coming in second. At the bottom of the pack you will find Kmart, with Walmart doing just a wee bit better to end up second to last.
People like Costco because they feel like it not only has rock bottom pricing, but good quality too and offers the best value: it was the only store judged much better than average for value. Costco received praise across the board for the quality of the store’s goods. According to Consumer Reports, in their surveys over the years, Costco has earned high marks as a source of a surprisingly large selection of goods, including mattresses, electronics, small appliances, groceries, and books. In the last few years, Costco’s Kirkland Signature products have often performed well in the Consumer Reports tests. Even with high marks for quality and value, it wasn’t all rosy for Costco though, people still feel that checkout times could be improved. I think we’ve all stood in those long weekend checkout lines and thought that too.
“Costco surprises consumers with great products and brands at exceptional prices,” says Will Ander, senior partner in McMillanDoolittle, a retail-consulting firm in Chicago. “They don’t promise to have everything, but they do offer a true treasure hunt where everyone seems to find that exceptional item at an unbelievable price. Most customers will give you great satisfaction marks if you exceed their expectations, and Costco is light-years ahead of the other discount competitors in that respect.”
Here’s how all eleven stores were scored (out of 100) by the Consumer Reports survey takers:
For more information, you can read the two articles below. Unfortunately though, to get all the really juicy details from Consumer Reports you have to subscribe.