Trader Joe’s, the food retailer that is all the rage with the “in the know” crowd, has been dethroned as the America’s favorite grocery.
According to Market Force Information, that honor in 2016 goes to New York-based Wegmans, a family-owned chain in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
In a survey of 10,000 consumers, Wegmans — which does not have stores in metro Atlanta — impressed with its focus on employee training to ensure customers have the best experience, ability to find desired items and store cleanliness.
Trader Joe’s which had held the No. 1 spot for four years, fell to third place, the survey said. Publix, one of Atlanta’s largest chains, came in at No. 2 and had some of the same attributes as Wegmans.
Bringing up the rear is Walmart, which came in dead last among the group.
Being on that favored short-list is important to grocery stores because profit margins are thin and the competition has grown. After a slowdown during the Great Recession, grocery store construction has been on a tear in metro Atlanta, with close to 50 new stores going up in the last five years, according to store opening announcements and representatives of various chains.
Popular metro Atlanta stores left off the Market Force list includes Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market and Fresh Market.
Market Force said it asked participants to rate their satisfaction with their most recent grocery shopping experience and the likelihood they would refer that grocer to others. The results were averaged to rank each brand on a Composite Loyalty Index, the organization said.
Some of the findings: Aldi is the price leader, followed by WinCo and Costco. Trader Joe’s ranked first for cashier courtesy. ShopRite, Meijer and Kroger offer the best sales and promotions.
Here is the list.
- Publix Super Markets
- Trader Joe’s Markets
- Hy-Vee Food Stores
- WiCo Foods
- Giant Food Stores
- Stop & Shop