ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Customer satisfaction with supermarkets was up 1.3% in the fourth quarter, with Publix Super Markets again leading the pack, according to the latest data from the American Customer Satisfaction Index here.
Supermarkets achieved an overall index of 76, up from 75 in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix scored an 84 for the fourth quarter of 2011, the same as for 2010. Whole Foods Market came in second among supermarkets with a score of 80, continuing a steady increase since it debuted on the index with a score of 73 in 2007. Kroger Co. was right behind with a score of 79, up 1.3% over a year ago, followed by Safeway at 75, up 1.4%. Supervalu was flat at 74, and Winn-Dixie Stores slid 1.3% to 75.
Wal-Mart Stores came in at the bottom of the list as a supermarket with a score of 69, down 2.8%.
The aggregate customer satisfaction with goods and services across all industries measured improved by 0.1%, to 75.8, the fourth consecutive quarter without a decline.
“The good news is that customer satisfaction continues to climb, which has a positive effect on consumer demand and economic growth,” the ACSI said in a statement. “The bad news is that the customer satisfaction improvement is tepid. This is particularly noteworthy because a good part of the higher customer satisfaction in Q4 comes from lower gas prices. Gas prices have since reversed course and are now rising, which means that customers obviously are going to be less pleased.”