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Regional Food Chains Rule Magazine’s ‘Best’ List

YONKERS, N.Y. — Regional supermarket chains with an emphasis on customer service dominated the 2012 Consumer Reports list of shoppers’ favorite food retailers, as reported in the May issue of the magazine, based here.

Wegmans Food Markets, Rochester, N.Y., was the top-rated supermarket in the survey, which polled more than 24,000 consumers who are subscribers to the magazine.

Wegmans, which operates in a handful of Northeastern states, was followed in the top 10 by, in order: Trader Joe’s, Publix Super Markets, Fareway Stores, Costco, Harris Teeter, Demoulas Market Basket, Raley’s, Hy-Vee and Stater Bros. All but Costco were given the highest possible scores in the service category, which was defined as employee courtesy and checkout speed. All but Costco and Trader Joe’s are regional operators.

The biggest complaint shoppers had overall about their supermarket was that there were not enough open checkouts (cited by 27% of shoppers), followed by congested or cluttered aisles and out-of-stocks on advertised specials.

One third of the shoppers surveyed said they had stopped shopping at a nearby food retailer. Of those, 43% cited lower prices elsewhere; 25% cited poor selection, long lines or poor food quality; 17% cited employee rudeness; and 14% cited crowds.

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