Here are the best (and worst) supermarkets in the nation

A new tally of supermarkets names a Northeastern regional chain as the best grocery store in the nation.

Best grocers in the nation

Consumer Reports has crunched the data and found Wegmans to be the top pick. For those who are not familiar with Wegmans, this is a store that has been consistently adored through the years by people who shop there.

In second place, we have a 2-way tie between Publix, the Florida-based regional grocer, and Trader Joe’s, the national alternative grocer that started in California and has spread across the country. The latter is a real crowd pleaser and distinguishes itself by doing natural and organic food for less money than a competitor like Whole Foods.

In fourth place, we have another tie between Fareway and Market Basket. The Top 10 is rounded out by Costco, Raley’s, Sprouts, Fresh Market and Stater Bros.

The one entry I found noteworthy was Kroger. Now, stock analysts are always thrilled with how Kroger runs its business. But the nation’s second largest grocer (behind Walmart) always seems to show up firmly in the middle of the pack, and that’s true again with this latest tally. In 6 important criteria, Kroger rated just average. They’re not making people happy or unhappy! But this is an industry where you really need to wow the customer.

Ratings are based on 63,000 responses to the Consumer Reports’ 2014 Supermarket Survey, reflecting 111,000 shopping trips between March 2013 and July 2014. That is a massive amount of data they’re crunching!

3-way tie for worst in the nation

Who is not doing a good job? There’s a 3-way tie between A&P, Waldbaum’s, and Walmart for worst place to buy groceries in America!

What people don’t like about all 3 is the produce, meats, and the bakery. Walmart is working very hard on trying to change organizationally how they run their supermarkets. They are also trying to work on cleanliness and employee attitude. To that end, they’re raising pay rates and rolling out a reasonable sick leave policy. We’ll see if it raises their profile on customer satisfaction reports in the future…

Clark Howard is a consumer expert and NY Times best-selling author (New book: Living Large for the Long Haul). He is the host of the nationally syndicated Clark Howard Show. Get more from Clark on ClarkHoward.comon Facebook, or download his new app.
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