Customer Satisfaction Lowest at Wal-Mart, Highest at Nordstrom and Amazon

Online shopping
Source: Thinkstock
The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) for retail stores and websites was published on Wednesday, and the surprising thing is how thoroughly Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is disliked. Excepting its Sam’s Club stores in the specialty retail group, Wal-Mart stores finished last in every category for which the stores were eligible. Sort of a reverse sweep.

In the department and discount story category, Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) took the top spot with a year-over-year gain of 4% to an ACSI score of 86. Target Inc. (NYSE: TGT) also improved by 4% in this category as memories of its credit card security issue faded. Wal-Mart finished with an ACSI score of 68, tied for last and down 4% from a year ago.

Among specialty retailers the top choice was Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) with an ACSI score of 84. Not far behind was L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB), which operates the Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works stores. Sam’s Club scored a respectable 80 while Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) finished at the bottom with a score of 75. Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) handily outscored larger rival Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) with an ACSI score of 81 to Home Depot’s 76.

Among supermarkets, Wegmans and Trader Joe’s led with an ACSI score of 85, and Wal-Mart was last again with a score of 71. Whole Foods Markets Inc. (NASDAQ: WFM) scored 81, the highest among publicly traded supermarkets.

Kroger Inc. (NYSE: KR) led health and personal care stores with an ACSI score of 81. Wal-Mart again finished dead, clinking last with a score of 68, well below the 75 posted by the next-lowest store, CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS).

The leading Internet retailer was Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) with an ACSI score of 86, tying with Nordstrom for the highest score among all types of retailers. The lowest rated seller here is Inc. (NASDAQ: OSTK) with a score of 77.

ACSI noted some general trends among retailers:

  • The only group of brick-and-mortar stores not see a year-over-year decline in customer satisfaction was the department and discount store group.
  • Satisfaction with specialty retailers fell by 1.3%.
  • Supermarkets saw a drop of 2.6% in their overall ACSI score, likely as a result of higher food prices.
  • Satisfaction with health and personal care stores slipped 2.5%.
  • Internet retail posted an overall satisfaction score increase of 5.1%, which ACSI attributes to gains in satisfaction with the online business of brick-and-mortar retailers.

ALSO READ: Wal-Mart, Sears Most ‘Liked’ Retailers

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.