America’s favorite -- and least favorite -- retailers

Wegmans Food Markets edged Publix Super Markets as the favorite grocery chain among consumers according to an online survey of nearly 13,000 people aged 18-65 conducted by Market Force Information. This is the third consecutive No. 1 finish for Wegmans, which tied for the top spot with Publix last year. Trader Joe’s, Aldi and H-E-B rounded out the top five.

“Wegmans, founded in 1916, is known for its fresh produce, reasonable prices and massive stores,” Market Force said in a statement. “The New York-based chain is expanding steadily and, with a focus on employee training to ensure a great customer experience, it’s created a legion of super-fans eager for a new location to open near their home.”

Grocery retailers were ranked using Market Force’s Composite Loyalty Index, which assigns a score based on how customers rate their satisfaction with their most recent grocery shopping experience and likelihood to refer that chain to others.

Wegmans led with an index score of 77 percent, just ahead of Publix at 76 percent and Trader Joe’s at 75 percent. Aldi rose one spot this year to come in fourth at 70 percent, while H-E-B repeated its previous year’s score of 69 percent. Safeway and Walmart ranked at the bottom with respective scores of 42 percent and 34 percent.

Market Force identified key experience attributes that matter most to consumers, including store cleanliness, item availability, convenient location, good sales and promotions and value for the money.

The survey also revealed that more and more, consumers are interested in using click-and-collect as well as online home delivery options. Shoppers named Walmart, Kroger, H-E-B and Harris Teeter as the grocery retailers they most used in the past 90 days for click-and-collect purchases.

Of all respondents, 15 percent said they’ve used click-and-collect, up from 9 percent in 2017 and 4 percent in 2016. This year, 34 percent described themselves as frequent users of this service, making click-and-collect grocery transactions at least monthly.

Also climbing in popularity is online grocery home delivery. Twenty-two percent of shoppers polled said they’ve used the service, compared with 18 percent in 2017. Of the users, 35 percent reported they get home delivery via online grocery players such as Peapod and Shipt, compared with 34 percent through general online retailers such as Amazon and Jet, and 24 percent via online orders from brick-and-mortar grocery chains. However, about 20 percent of consumers said they’re less than satisfied with the experience, Market Force noted.

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