Wednesday, April 25, 2018
News Roundup

Publix, Nordstrom, Costco top customer satisfaction survey

Once again, Publix is living up to its motto, "Where shopping is a pleasure." The Lakeland-based grocery chain ranked first in customer satisfaction in a national study out today of retailers and e-commerce businesses.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index gave Publix an 86 on a 100-point scale, edging out Nordstrom and Costco. People surveyed said they like the quality of the products and feel that they're getting a good value. No doubt, BOGO deals keep them loyal.

The annual report measures satisfaction with department and discount stores, specialty retail stores, supermarkets, gas stations and health and personal care stores. A related e-commerce report measures online retailers, brokers and travel companies. About 15,000 shoppers were surveyed during the last quarter of 2012.

Overall, consumer satisfaction with the retail industry is up 0.7 percent to 76.6 points, an all-time high since the report began 20 years ago. Satisfaction with e-commerce is up 1.2 percent to 81.1 points, evidence that people have a better experience shopping online than they do in a brick-and-mortar store.

David VanAmburg, the index's managing director, said he wasn't surprised by the leaders, which do well year after year. They are known for being well-run companies and good places to work. Happy workers means happy customers.

He also wasn't shocked by the loser: Walmart, with 71 points in the discount category and 72 as a supermarket. "Typically, their business model is value over quality," he said. "People like the prices they are paying but don't like the experience all that much."

More surprising was Office Depot, which jumped 6.3 percent to 84 points, the largest gain for any retailer. The office supplies store, which announced plans last week to merge with smaller rival OfficeMax, has downsized some of its big-box stores in favor of more personal customer service. It must be working.

Also puzzling was JCPenney at 81 points, the same as Target and Kohl's. While the department store saw sales plummet after ditching coupons and sales for "fair and square pricing," customer satisfaction remains strong. People who continue to shop there still like the experience, VanAmburg said.

The TJX Cos., owner of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, saw the largest decline among retailers — 2.6 percent to 76 points. That's mostly because stores had to pass along the rising cost of cotton, much to customers' dismay.

VanAmburg advises that retailers view the report with cautious optimism, especially now that the 2 percent payroll tax cut has expired and consumers have less money in their pockets.

"Retail satisfaction is improving, but that's still only half of the equation," he said. "If people are too skittish to spend, no amount of customer satisfaction is going to overcome that."

Here's a deck of cards stacked for savings. Shuffle and Dine Tampa is selling a deck of cards with 52 coupons to local restaurants and four bonus cards, including free golf for two at the Cheval Golf and Country Club and two tickets to Side Splitters Comedy Club.

Each card is a $10 certificate off a purchase of $25 or more at participating restaurants, including Byblos Cafe, Carmel Cafe, the Bungalow, Vizcaya Restaurante, Mellow Mushroom, Catch 23, Pizza Fusion and Shrimp & Co.

The decks cost $20, with half going to the Florida Gulf Coast Paralyzed Veterans of America to put on the 33rd National Wheelchair Games July 13-18 at the Tampa Convention Center. Cards are valid until Dec. 31 and have no blackout dates. To order, go to shuffleanddinetampa.com/pva.

Susan Thurston can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 225-3110.

 
Comments
Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic walkoff homer celebration

Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic walkoff homer celebration

BALTIMORE – Carlos Gomez is perfectly willing to explain the specific elements that went into his epic celebration tour around the bases following Sunday's walkoff home run.The bat flip and raised arms were his initial reaction to how well he h...
Updated: 17 minutes ago

High school scoreboard for April 24

Tuesday’s scoreboardBaseballCalvary Chr. 8, Jesuit 1Boys TennisClass 3A, District 9-10 Regional Semifinal: Osceola 4, King 1Girls TennisClass 3A, District 9-10 Regional Semifinal: Osceola 4, Freedom 1...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

ST. PETERSBURG — Caps and gowns were in the future for Bryson Welton-Williams and his two friends.Then came Tuesday’s horrific car crash.The three 18-year-old Lakewood High School seniors drove off from school a few minutes early, just 22 days away f...
Updated: 3 hours ago
SRO being investigated in Pasco County for arrest of student

SRO being investigated in Pasco County for arrest of student

LAND O’LAKES — A school resource officer at Sunlake High School is under investigation after he tried to take a female student into custody on Tuesday, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.School officials asked the SRO remove the student f...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Teen killed after SUV runs red light; man who fled scene captured

Teen killed after SUV runs red light; man who fled scene captured

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 17-year-old girl was killed Tuesday when her car was hit by a sport-utility vehicle that ran a red light, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.One of the occupants of the SUV who ran from the crash scene was captured hours late...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Softball: Haley Murphy, East Bay back in top form

Softball: Haley Murphy, East Bay back in top form

PLANT CITY — East Bay senior Haley Murphy had to take a few games off early this season to give the flaring tendinitis in her left knee a rest.When Murphy did come back around midseason, East Bay coach Glenn Rodriguez eased her into the fl...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Sarasota student, family apologize for racist ‘promposal’

Sarasota student, family apologize for racist ‘promposal’

The family of the 18-year-old Sarasota high school student under fire for the racist prom proposal he sent out on social media this weekend has publicly apologized for their son’s actions.They also said that as a result of his actions, he will not at...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Softball: Boca Ciega gets a shot at defending district champ

DUNEDIN — Standing in centerfield during her team's Class 6A-9 district semifinal Tuesday night, Boca Ciega's Mia Blasingane had one dominating thought: "We want Tarpon Springs real bad. I was saying that to myself. I want to see Tarpon Springs...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Softball: Alonso knocks off defending state finalist PHU in 9A-8 semifinals

PALM HARBOR — To get an idea of just how tough the competition is in Class 9A, District 8, consider that there has been a different tournament champion each of the past three seasons.All three — Newsome (2015), Alonso (2016) and Palm Harb...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

BALTIMORE – If the Rays were going to get rained out Tuesday, they were happy  the Orioles made the decision at a good hour, around 5 p.m."I think they probably did the right thing in the fact that they knew there's a bunch of rain coming,...
Updated: 3 hours ago