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Westlake Village, Calif. -- Academy Sports + Outdoors, Katy, Texas, which operates 141 stores, ranks highest in customer satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Sporting Goods Retailer Satisfaction Report. The inaugural report measures the overall sporting goods retailer customer satisfaction experience by examining five key factors: staff, cost, facility, merchandise and sales/promotions.
Among the eight retail brands included in the report, Academy Sports + Outdoors had an overall score of 796 (on a 1,000-point scale) and performed particularly well in the cost, merchandise and sales/promotions factors. Following Academy Sports + Outdoors in the rankings are Hibbett Sports (794) and Play It Again Sports (790), all outperforming the industry average of 780. Modell's Sporting Goods had an overall rating of 784, followed by Dick’s Sporting Goods (783), Sports Authority (778), Dunham’s Sports (762) and BIG 5 Sporting Goods (758).
According to the report, 51% of Academy Sports + Outdoors customers say they "definitely will" repurchase from the brand, which is significantly higher than industry average (42%). In addition, 51% of the retailer’s customers say they "definitely will" recommend the brand, which is significantly higher than the industry average and most of the brands included in the report.
Further illustrating the relationship between high customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy is the fact that Academy Sports + Outdoors customers make an average of 3.0 recommendations, nearly twice as many as less satisfied customers (1.6).
The report also finds that while cost is important, a helpful and knowledgeable sales staff is the key driver of customer satisfaction with a sporting goods brand. Among the five study factors, staff has the highest importance weight in determining overall satisfaction (30%), followed by cost (23.5%) and facility (18%).