Trust is among the most important aspects of any business category or company. Presumably, consumers are most likely to do business with companies they trust the most. On the other hand, businesses that lack consumer trust are likely to lose customers to the competition.
Morning Consult, one of the largest polling firms in America, recently announced its list of the most trusted retail brands. The companies in the evaluation included traditional retailers, e-commerce companies and grocery chain operations. The firm created its list by taking respondents who trust a given retailer and subtracting those who do not. The data comes from the ongoing polls it creates each day from 12,000 people. People who had no opinion of a retailer, or those who were not sure of an answer, were excluded. A key finding was:
That retailers emerged from the past 15 months with no deterioration in consumer trust shows they balanced high demand, low supply and the needs of consumers who typically don’t buy much online. Overall, a positive sign for the industry.
Retailers as a category did slightly better than grocery chains. This has been true since Morning Consult started the survey in January 2018.
Morning Consult ended up with ratings for 20 retailers and grocery chains. The analysts who did the survey discovered an interesting trend. Of the most trusted retailers, three were home improvement companies: Home Depot, Lowe’s and Ace Hardware.
At the bottom of the list is one of America’s most troubled and oldest retailers: JCPenney. Founded in 1902, it has been downsizing for years, as customers moved to big-box retailers like Walmart and Target. The company continued to slice stores, and people, until it went bankrupt in May 2020. It emerged from bankruptcy in September of that year. It then closed another 150 stores, which left it with 670. The jury is still out on whether JCPenney can survive so much smaller and with such a low opinion among consumers.