Yonkers, N.Y. A report released Tuesday by Consumer Reports said that more than 30,000 shoppers found Costco to be top notch among 11 of America's most popular chain stores.
Fifty percent of Consumer Reports readers who shopped at Costco rated the value as “Excellent,” outscoring both Walmart and Kmart.
Costco was the only store judged much better than average for value.
In the survey, Walmart was the only chain to receive below-average quality scores in more than half of the product categories. Only about 10% of Walmart shoppers thought the store's children's clothing was excellent, for example. By contrast, 46% of Dillard's shoppers thought the kids' apparel was top-notch.
Surveyed shoppers said the prices at 10 other retailers, including J.C. Penney, Sears, Dillard's and Meijer, were at least as good. Nearly three quarters of respondents who shopped at Walmart found at least one problem to complain about, and half had two or more complaints about the store or its staff.
Other key findings included: Costco, Dillard’s, Macy’s and Sears earned outstanding scores for merchandise quality.
In addition to a lack of sales help, the most prevalent problems according to respondents were that desired items were out of stock and that checkouts were jammed. Other problems cited in the report were difficult store layout, hidden price tags and lengthy returns.