Walmart has held onto the dubious honor of being the big retailer that U.S. customers are least satisfied with, according to a new American Customer Satisfaction Index report.
The world’s largest retailer dropped three ratings points in this year’s survey to retain the bottom ranking, where Walmart has been for several years. But brick-and-mortar retailers in general lost ground with customers, while online retail improved its customer satisfaction scores by an average of 5.1 percent, according to ACSI.
Among top-ranked U.S. retailers for customer satisfaction, Nordstrom and Amazon tied for first, with grocery chains Wegmans and Trader Joe’s right behind, followed by Costco and Victoria’s Secret parent L Brands. Joining Walmart at the bottom are Stop & Shop parent Ahold USA and Giant Eagle, followed by Sears and Albertsons. (The military-only retailer The Exchange actually tied Walmart’s rating, but it’s not open to the general public.)
(If there was any doubt about the usefulness of Facebook “likes” for rating retailers, the two top like-getting retailers for the 2014 holiday season, Sears and Walmart, shared bottom-5 status in the ACSI survey.)
Walmart’s dip follows widely publicized customer complaints about unstocked shelves and employee demands for better pay, while customers no longer think of the chain as always having the lowest price. “They are not as dominant on the price side as they were, and the quality still isn’t there,” ACSI director David VanAmburg told CBS Moneywatch. “They haven’t stepped up their game on that side, so we are seeing a lot of dissatisfaction by comparison.”
Among online retailers, top-rated Amazon was trailed in the ACSI survey by Newegg, Netflix and “all others” — in other words, customer satisfaction across online retail was remarkably consistent. But eBay fell behind that average by two points, while Overstock was even farther behind among the biggest ecommerce names. But that still left Overstock with higher customer satisfaction than many brick-and-mortar retailers, including Home Depot and Gap.