We all have to go grocery shopping, but that doesn’t mean we’d be willing to walk through just any supermarket doors.
To no one’s surprise, Americans judge their local food store experience just as they would a five-star restaurant: “How courteous was my cashier?” “Was the store clean?” “Did I get my money’s worth?”
Cashier courtesy, store cleanliness, and value for money were just three of seven attributes retail consulting firm Market Force Information used to determine the most popular grocery chains in America. The firm polled more than 12,700 shoppers in their quest to determine America’s favorite grocery retailers. The survey combined all seven metrics to tally a final score called Market Force’s Customer Loyalty Index.
Curious to see where your go-to grocery chain lies? Keep reading to find out. And if you’re looking for supermarket shopping guides and more ways to save on foodstuffs, you’ll want to subscribe to the new Eat This, Not That! magazine now!
Aparently, Walmart’s slogan holds true: Customers do agree that they’re “saving money and living better” at Walmart. According to Market Force, Walmart landed at the bottom of the pack in all categories except for “value for money,” where they ranked sixth best.
Stop & Shop
This northeastern supermarket chain didn’t rank in the top 15 in any of the seven categories, which also included fast checkouts, availability of items, ease of finding items, and specialty department service.
This subsidiary of Albertons doesn’t rank as highly as its parent company. Looks like they could learn a thing or two.
Giant Food Stores
You’ll find Giant Food Stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, but if you’re taking fellow Americans’ advice, you might not want to stop in if you care about store cleanliness, value for money, or cashier courtesy: all attributes where Giant stores ranked in the bottom third.
You might be able to get the bang for your buck at Sam’s Club (they ranked fifth for “value for money”), but the buck stops there for overall quality of service.
This Michigan-headquartered supercenter may be credited with pioneering the modern supercenter concept back in 1962, but it appears as though the store hasn’t prioritized shopping experience since then.
Maybe it’s because Albertsons is the second-largest supermarket chain in North America (after Kroger) that they fall short of keeping up with store cleanliness and organizing items.
Founded in North Carolina back in 1957 as “Food Town,” Food Lion now operates 1,116 stores in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States. While they rank in the top seven for fast checkouts, the chain falls short in all other attributes surveyed by Market Force.
Fun fact: Shop Rite is actually a retailers’ co-op, meaning that many Shop Rite stores are actually independently owned businesses. Perhaps varying management styles is the reason for Shop Rite’s lack of excellence in any of the seven attributes except for value for money and availability of items.
Although they filed for bankruptcy in March, the parent company that owns Winn-Dixie restructured their debt and is making massive changes. It’s closed nearly 100 underperforming stores and is pledging store makeovers, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Perhaps this face-lift will lift Winn-Dixie out from the middle of the pack.
It’s not exclusively a grocery store, but Target still does well for itself in placing mid-range in terms of customer satisfaction and popularity.
Impressively, the supermarket chain with the highest number of locations holds its own as a solid choice for your food shopping needs.
Although a division of The Kroger Company, Fry’s Food & Drug Stores and Fry’s Marketplace actually beat out Kroger by one percentage point. The supermarket chain was founded in California but has a major presence in Arizona.
Whole Foods Market
They rank in the bottom third for value for money, but Whole Foods Market is among the best of the best if you’re looking at cashier courtesy, availability of items, specialty department service, and store cleanliness, where they consistently rank sixth or higher.
Although ranking just behind Costco, WinCo Foods actually edged out the aforementioned wholesale brand to rank second overall for “value for money,” just behind ALDI.
If we’re talking value for money, Costco ranks third with 83 percent of people agreeing their dollar goes far at the wholesale shop. That’s about the only attribute the membership retailer excels in; every other metric ranks Costco towards the top of the middle of the pack.
Hy-Vee Food Stores
Interestingly, although Hy-Vee’s advertising slogan is “Where there’s a helpful smile in every aisle,” the chain ranked eighth in cashier courtesy; however, it looks like their specialty department sure smiles a lot, as Hy-Vee earned fourth best in this service.
Yet another supermarket chain owned by Kroger (it was aquired in 2013), Harris Teeter is a 245-store-strong chain that serves the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. The North Carolina-based chain placed fourth overall for fast checkouts, availability of items, and store cleanliness.
For two years running, budget brand ALDI once again led for value. The German discount supermarket chain is technically one half of a multi-brand chain “ALDI, this one being ALDI Sud. The other half, ALDI Nord, is the chain that claims Trader Joe’s as a subsidiary.
H-E-B stands for “Here Everything’s Better,” and it appears as though most Americans agree. The privately-owned supermarket chain ranks third for availability of items, ease of finding items, and specialty department service.
America’s favorite private-label grocery store, Trader Joe’s was found to have the most courteous cashiers and ranked second-best for store cleanliness.
This is the second consecutive year that Wegmans has earned the top spot in Market Force’s annual study, after unseating long-running favorite Trader Joe’s in 2016. The New York-based chain ranked highest for its specialty department service and a close second for item availability and ease of finding items.
Publix Super Markets
Besides impressively topping the list of most popular grocery stores in the country, both Publix Super Markets and Wegmans have been named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For every year since the list’s inception. Publix is the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the country and certainly delivers on their motto: “Where shopping is a pleasure.” Next time you hit up a Publix, read up on these 46 Best Supermarket Shopping Tips Ever to save more money and choose healthier options.