Costco Named Best Retail Chain

by | February 8, 2012 at 1:46 PM | General

Consumer Reports recently asked subscribers to rate their shopping experiences at big-box retailers, both in-store and online.

Among the chains ranked, Costco completely surpassed its competitors. In fact, it was the only chain to earn an outstanding grade for the overall quality of its merchandise.  The warehouse-club chain also earned high marks for layout and product value.

Interestingly, its website actually performed better than its walk-in stores, except in product quality (for which the two types tied). Stores scored below average for selection, checkout, and service, and its shoppers were likelier to complain about a lack of fitting rooms.

Kohl’s and J.C. Penney followed Costco in the survey, thanks to the quality of their products in all categories. Shoppers seemed to be especially happy with the value and layout at Kohl’s stores. And J.C. Penney fans are undoubtedly  pleased with news that the chain will permanently slash all of its merchandise prices by 40 percent.

Target stores are easy to navigate, but the in-store shopping experience was just average, and Target’s website was not especially easy to use. (Could this have anything to do with the Missoni mishap last fall?)

Macy’s, Meijer, Sam’s Club and even long-struggling Sears also earned a spot on the survey. But it was Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, that sunk to the bottom of the list. While Wal-Mart boasts low prices,  respondents claimed the product value was better elsewhere. Shoppers were unhappy with customer service, and 23 percent of those who returned an item reported at least one problem, significantly more than at any other retailer. Kmart wasn’t a popular pick either — it was the only chain to score below average for value.

For more information on the complete list of rankings and details, visit ConsumerReports.org.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of XFINITY.