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Wegmans tops satisfaction survey

Wegmans has topped the American Customer Satisfaction Index for 2015 category, besting all other supermarkets and every company measured in five other sectors. It’s the only grocer and one of just three companies in the entire retail sector whose score improved over last year.

Wegmans scored 86 on a 100-point scale, up from its score of 85 in 2014. It was followed by California-based Trader Joe’s, whose score dropped from 85 to 83, and Texas-based H-E-B, which remained steady at 82.

Supermarkets were scored on customers’ satisfaction with location, hours, ability to provide brand names, variety, selection, layout, cleanliness, frequency of sales and promotions, availability of merchandise, quality and freshness of meat and produce, website, call center satisfaction, courtesy and helpfulness of staff, quality of pharmacy and checkout speed.

The rankings are based on interviews with 9,350 customers who were chosen at random from Nov. 12 to Dec. 9.

ALDI came in fifth with a score of 81, the same as last year. Whole Foods, which is coming to Sheridan Drive in Amherst next year, dropped nearly 10 percent from a score of 81 to 73. Target dropped from 81 to 71. Walmart landed at the bottom with a score of 67, down from last year’s 71.

Scores among supermarkets were down 3.9 percent overall to 73. The sector’s customer satisfaction is at its lowest levels in more than 10 years.

The index also ranked companies in the health and personal care, department and discount, gas station, Internet retail and specialty retail sectors. Customer satisfaction was down across every sector except gas stations, which saw a 2.7 percent improvement.

Overall customer satisfaction across all sectors is down 2.6 percent to 74.8. That score is close to the report’s long-term average of 74.6, and follows higher-than-usual scores from two years ago.

Scores were higher immediately after the economic crisis because companies were offering more discounts and incentives, and the high unemployment rate motivated workers to provide better customer service, analysts at the ACSI said. Scores are now stabilizing closer to the norm, they said.

email: schristmann@buffnews.com