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ACSI Documents Lower Customer Satisfaction with Supermarkets


The recently revised American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) documented a decline in customer satisfaction based on interviews with 30,000 U.S. customers.  Within the supermarket category, an overall 3.8 percent reduction in the index was determined for April to September compared to the level of 78 during the corresponding period in 2019. Obviously encountering out-of-stock  items was a consumer concern during the immediate-period of panic buying following the emergence of COVID.  Increases in price of protein foods and the disappearance of promotions also contributed to a deterioration in satisfaction.  Many of the problems experienced by consumers were not the fault of supermarkets but were due to disruption of supply chains.


In reviewing differences in the Satisfaction Index between the April September periods in 2019 and 2020, declines ranged from zero for Traders Joe's, Wegman's, Publix and Cosco to a high of 8 percent for Albertsons Companies.  Intermediate were Target, Whole Foods and Meijer at 4 percent.  The ACSI report noted that overall, department and discount stores improved in store layout, checkout speeds, availability of name brands, store location and mobile-app reliability.