U.S. consumers are more satisfied but Wal-Mart scores poorly

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U.S. consumers are more satisfied but Wal-Mart scores poorly

U.S. consumers were slightly more content in the last quarter of 2011 with a 0.7% year-on-year rise, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) report.

ACSI founder Claes Fornell said this was good news for demand and growth but added that lower gas prices had probably played a part.

Membership warehouse clubs gained the best retailer scores. Costco led with an ACSI score of 83 (a 1% rise), followed by a substantially improved Sam’s Club at 81 (a 4% increase).

Supermarkets were up 1.3% overall to 76 despite a continued rise in food prices - now 6% higher than in 2010. Efforts to remodel stores and expand product selection seemed to have paid off.

Wal-Mart did not fare so well dropping 3% to 69, it lagged behind the supermarket field by five points or more and was last among all measured retailers.

"Wal-Mart’s relatively strong financial performance appears to be buoyed by overseas growth, while U.S. sales are mired in a two-year slump," said Fornell.

Grocer chain Publix continued its customer satisfaction reign at a stable and high score of 84.

The upscale grocer Whole Foods gained 1% coming in second place at 80, showing a net gain of 10% over four years.

The ACSI is a national economic indicator of customer evaluations of products and services available to householders in the U.S.

Photo: Wal-Mart


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