Shoppers Say These Grocers Have Best Customer Service

Newsweek polls 30K consumers to gauge service in both brick-and-mortar and online stores
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Using five weighted criteria, consumers ranked Publix the best brick-and-mortar chain for its customer service.

Newsweek magazine recently polled more than 30,000 Americans on their perceptions of customer service across multiple industries, including the food retailing business that serves almost all consumers on a regular basis, both in-store and online. Survey participants were asked how likely they were to recommend companies to their friends and families and used the weighted criteria of quality of communication, professional competence, range of services, customer focus and accessibility.

[Read more: “IFPA Honors 15 Retail Produce Managers With Annual Awards”]

Florida-headquartered Publix topped Newsweek’s 2024 America’s Best Customer Service list in the brick-and-mortar supermarket category, leading the grocery pack with a score of 92.91 out of 100. Nabbing the second spot was Gates, N.Y.-based Wegmans Food Markets, with a 91.95 grade. Monrovia, Calif.-based Trader Joe’s, with 91.15 points, took third, while Fresh Theme Farmers Market of Downers Grove, Ill., was fourth with 90.12 points and Harps Food Stores of Springdale, Ark., was fifth, racking up 87.82 points.

This is the sixth time that Publix has earned top marks for its service. “At Publix, we delight in catering to the needs of our customers and providing them with premier service,” said Maria Brous, director of communications. “As company owners, our associates take pride in treating their customers like royalty. It’s an honor to be recognized by Newsweek for the sixth consecutive year and a testament to our company values.”

Newsweek also asked consumers about their customer service experiences at physical superstores and warehouse club stores. Here, Costco won out, with a score of 88.86, followed by Sam's Club (85.94) and BJ’s Wholesale Club (85.71).

Given the rise of the digital channel over the past few years, Newsweek included customer service scores for online stores. In the digital grocery segment, FreshDirect was tops, netting a score of 91.57. Shipt followed with a grade of 87.76 and Amazon Fresh landed in third, with 85.57.

Nancy Cooper, global editor in chief at Newsweek, prefaced the report by noting that service is important across the evolving omnichannel. “Here's a telling statistic: Online grocery delivery services are now valued at over $286 billion with projections of continued growth. But companies still need to offer excellent customer service, even if that looks a little different than it used to,” she wrote.

The complete list is available online.

Employee-owned and -operated Publix has close to 1,300 supermarkets in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix is No. 12 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Wegmans is No. 37, Trader Joe’s is No. 30, Fresh Thyme Market is No. 87, Costco is No. 3, Sam’s Club is No. 8, BJ’s is No. 27 and Amazon is No. 2. Shipt is an independently operated, wholly owned subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Target Corp., which is No. 6 on The PG 100. FreshDirect is part of parent company Ahold Delhaize USA, which is No. 10.

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