In terms of service, how you stack up against the store next door is ultimately decided by the customers you serve. Find-lay, Ohio-based Corporate Research International’s
Department stores: Nordstrom, followed by Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s;
Shoe stores: Stride Rite, followed by Shoe Carnival and Payless ShoeSource;
Home improvement stores: Ace Hardware, followed by True Value and Lowe’s;
Sporting-goods stores: Dick’s Sporting Goods, followed by Foot Locker and Finish Line;
Electronics stores: RadioShack, followed by Best Buy and Circuit City;
Drug stores: Walgreens, followed by CVS and The Pharm;
Supermarkets: Publix, followed by Kroger and Safeway;
Office-supply stores: Staples, followed by Office Depot and Kinko’s;
Convenience stores: BP, followed by Shell and The Pantry;
Fast-food restaurants: Sonic, followed by Quiznos and Chipotle Mexican Grill (tie);
Full-service restaurants: Olive Garden, followed by Texas Roadhouse and Outback Steakhouse; and
Banks: Credit unions, followed by Washington Mutual and Wachovia.
Respondents were asked to rate their perception of each business’s customer service on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest rating.