Yonkers, N.Y. -- Thousands of subscribers to the world's largest independent product-testing organization weighed in on grocery shopping via Consumer Reports’ latest survey – and gave Wegmans, Trader Joe's, Publix, Costco and Sprouts the highest scores overall among 55 of the nation's major grocery stores.
Walmart landed at the bottom of the ratings, based on a survey of the 27, 208 subscribers.
The report reflects 48,076 shopping visits and reveals respondents’ satisfaction with service. While most said they were quite satisfied overall, more than half had at least one complaint about their current store. Almost a third cited two or more problems. However, no chain tried their customers' patience more than Walmart Supercenter.
The biggest gripe overall: Not enough open checkouts (cited by 19% of shoppers), followed by congested aisles, out-of-stock advertised specials, and lack of choice.
One-third of subscribers surveyed said they had quit shopping at a nearby grocery store in the past year, mostly because of high prices, but also because of long waits, inadequate selection, or poor food quality. Fifty-eight percent of respondents gave a store the boot because of prices, compared with 43% in 2011.
Costco and Trader Joe's, along with Publix, Sprouts and Wegmans, were said to offer better quality meat and produce and a cleaner shopping environment. All but Costco also earned the highest possible marks for service, defined as employee courtesy and checkout speed.