Dirty stores and out of stocks negatively impact the food shopping experience, according to a study by The Retail Feedback Group which showed overall satisfaction with supermarkets at a five year high.
The Retail Feedback Group surveyed 1,200 shoppers in its 2012 U.S. Supermarket Experience Study and determined that supermarkets generate high rates of satisfaction with their shoppers, scoring a 4.47 out of a possible 5.
"This is the highest trip satisfaction rating found in the last five years and this is great news for the supermarket channel in the midst of unprecedented levels of competition from supercenters, limited assortment stores, warehouse clubs, as well as other formats," said Brain Numainville, a principal with the Retail Feedback Group. "And satisfied shoppers are higher-than-average spenders, more likely to recommend the store to others and more likely to be loyal customers."
The results are a little curious given that two of the nation’s largest conventional grocers, Safeway and Supervalu, recently reported weak results – again – suggesting their shoppers may be even more satisfied with other food shopping alternatives.
Not surprisingly, out of stocks and dirty stores negatively affected shoppers’ satisfaction levels. According to the study, there are many important elements that impact satisfaction with the grocery trip experience, such as service, checkout speed and cleanliness. However, no factor influences trip satisfaction to the extent of out-of-stocks. Supermarket satisfaction among shoppers unable to find all items they had planned to buy on their shopping trip averaged 3.97 on a five-point scale, compared with 4.54 among shoppers who did find all items. Likewise, shoppers who did not find all items they came in to purchase were much less likely to recommend the store to others. The survey also found that out-of-stocks may cost retailers sales with 50% of those shoppers going to a different store to purchase the item; 38% foregoing the item; 14% buying a different item at the store instead; and 12% buying a different brand or size.
Supermarkets registered strengths in perimeter departments, demonstrated by high satisfaction ratings for dairy/frozen, produce, meat, deli and bakery. On the other hand, prepared/takeout food and seafood offer opportunities for improvement.
The variety an