(YONKERS, N.Y.) -- It's not just Donald Trump who's yelling "You're fired!" Consumer Reports, in its May issue, says a third of its subscribers fired their supermarket in the past year.
In an article titled "Best & Worst Supermarkets," some 24,200 readers get a chance to vent about 42,700 shopping experiences. More than half say they have at least one complaint about their current store, and almost a third have two or more.
The biggest complaints, says project editor Tod Marks, include markets setting their prices too high (cited by 43 percent of shoppers as their reason for firing a store), not having enough checkouts open (cited by 27 percent), having rude employees (17 percent), or not having advertised specials in stock. Inept bagging, scanner overcharges and missing price tags round out the gripes.
Happily for shoppers, there are plenty of stores to choose from. The magazine rates 52 leading chains four ways: by service (which combines customer satisfaction with employee courtesy and checkout speed), perishables (quality of meat and produce), price and cleanliness. Wegmans gets the best overall rating, 88; Pathmark the worst, 68.
Marks says this is the third time the magazine has rated supermarkets. Earlier rankings appeared in 2005 and 2008. Despite some surprises, the rankings themselves have remained fairly constant.
"It's a mature industry," he explains. "These companies have had lots of time work out the kinks." The chains that make it to the top, he says, tend to stay there.
No chains, finds the report, tried their customers' patience more than Walmart Supercenter, Pathmark (Northeast) and Pick 'n Save (Wisconsin). At all three, 75 percent of shoppers had one or more complaints. Walmart, the nation's largest grocer, earned the next-to-worst overall rating (69), one notch above Pathmark. Customers gave Walmart lowest possible marks for its service, and next-lowest for its perishables.
The four best supermarkets (Wegmans, Trader Joe's, Publix and Fareway Stores), all scored high in service and in cleanliness. Shoppers' only quibble with Wegmans was price. Whole Foods and Jewel-Osco, however, got the worst price ratings of any markets in the survey.
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