Costco Ranked in Top 10 by Consumer Reports

April 7th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Consumer Reports’ May issue contains the ratings for supermarket chains in the United States.  These ratings are based on 32,599 consumer responses (from people that subscribe to the magazine).  The rankings were compiled based on consumers ratings in several key areas, including service (staff helpfulness and checkout speed), perishables (meat, produce and baked goods), price and cleanliness.

Tops on the list was Wegmans with 72 stores based out of Rochester, NY.  They received rankings of excellent in service, cleanliness, and perishables. Trader Joe’s with over 300 stores nationwide, ranked second.  Consumer Reports noted their outstanding value and service, but also pointed out that they have a very narrow selection of items.

Costco, which has more than 500 stores world wide, ranked 7th.  However, they handily out ranked their direct competition of Sam’s Club (No. 38) and BJ’s Wholesale Club (No. 42).  Costco won kudos for its low prices, but the articles states: “It and Sam’s Club have minimal service, carry a limited assortment of mostly bulk items and charge $40 to $50 per year to shop.”  People also complained about long check out lines at Costco and other warehouse stores.  I don’t necessarily agree with the ‘minimal service’ comment because I think Costco’s service is excellent and as good as just about any other grocery store I’ve shopped at (with the exception of the much more pricey Whole Foods).  It’s hard to argue with the long lines though; on the weekends they can get quite lengthy.  Though, I do think that the self-checkout lanes at our Costco have eleviated some of this pain.  All in all though, a very respectable ranking for Costco, I think.

The stores with the highest ratings aren’t necessarily the low-cost leaders.  According to Consumer Reports findings, the stores with the lowest prices often rate poorly on service and quality of items such as meats.  So, if you’re looking for better service and quality, you’re probably going to end up paying more.

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4 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Justin // 2009.04.09 at 2:24 pm

    I remember an article with the CEO who was listening to suggestions. One was to put milk and other items in the front of the store for easy access. He stated fairly bluntly that he does not want this convenience because he wants people to tour the store and visit the demo stations/end caps.

  2. 2 Eddie // 2009.04.09 at 10:47 am

    They are moving items constantly so you can grab more things to buy. I work at a Costco so I know this kinda stuff. The longer they have you looking in the store the more likely you are gonna grab a few extras (passing by a demo person serving samples / end cap items)

  3. 3 Kimberly // 2009.04.07 at 2:38 pm

    They do sell salt in Costco. They have sea salt in a grinder and you can find it by the other spices. They also sell pepper in the same container with the built in grinder.

    I agree that they probably don’t label the aisles because they move stuff around so often. However, I know there are a lot of people that get irritated by this.

  4. 4 Cynthia // 2009.04.07 at 2:25 pm

    Costco is really good – however I do wish that they post what is available in each aisles. I know they keep changing , but it would not hurt. I am relatively new member(1year) and hate searching each aisle for what I need, particularly with a toddler – it is challenging. I try to get in and get out asap . Maybe the want me to keep roaming so I buy more. I have never seen salt in Costco- do they sell it at all?

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