Whole Foods Up, Wal-Mart Down In Customer Satisfaction Survey


We’ve been hearing a lot of potentially positive news about the economy lately, and that may be trickling down to the grocery store level.

A new survey finds that even though food prices are going up, Americans are more satisfied than they were a year ago with upscale grocer Whole Foods and less satisfied with discount giant Wal-Mart.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index, an ongoing study of people’s shopping preferences, said Whole Foods’ customer satisfaction rose slightly in the past year, continuing an upward trend. It’s the nation’s second most beloved major grocery, after Publix.
Wal-Mart, on other hand, saw customer satisfaction fall. It’s the least popular of the major grocers in the survey.
David VanAmburg, managing director of the ACSI, said that in general people tend to favor quality over price – except when we experience a downturn as we did with the Great Recession.
“When the economy tanks, people are thinking more about, ‘How can I stretch my dollar as much as possible?'” VanAmburg said.
As the tepid recovery has picked up steam, shoppers appear to be starting to look again at factors such as store cleanliness, checkout lines and quality of produce, VanAmburg said.
“Things have improved enough that customers are looking more for quality. They’re looking for that combination of good quality and good price,” VanAmburg said.
Consumer prices jumped in January, thanks in part to high gas prices, and food prices were up slightly. But the nation’s unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent last month, one of a growing number of signs that brighter days are coming.
A separate poll from Pew Research Center found that people are more optimistic about the economy than they were even two months ago.
Click here to read more.

SOURCE: msnbc.com
Allison Linn