People’s Choice Awards: Retail-Style
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 RealPeopleRatings.com released the results of its quarterly customer-service survey that measures how real people rate the retailers they patronize. Retail category-toppers in its most recent study were:
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.
“RealPeopleRatings.com is an insightful way to help companies gather customer feedback about their operation,” said Michael Mallett, CEO of Corporate Research International. “Identifying strengths and areas needing improvement are critical in order to maintain a competitive advantage.”
Wal-Mart to Double Stores in China
Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart Stores plans to more than double its stores in China in the next five years to tap into the growing personal wealth of the country’s 1.3 billion people, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The expansion will help the company broaden its reach beyond its current 84 stores across 46 Chinese cities into smaller cities, where competition is less fierce, the report said. Wal-Mart expects the growth to help it garner 20% of China’s retail market.
Wal-Mart has opened 12 stores in mainland China so far this year, on track to beat 2006 openings of 15, the company said. The retailer sped up its expansion earlier this year by acquiring a 35% stake in China’s Trust-Mart. Wal-Mart said at the time that the move may lead to its taking ownership control of Trust-Mart’s more than 100 hypermarkets.
GameStop Opens 1,000th International Location
Grapevine, Texas, Video game retailer GameStop announced Tuesday that over the past 30 days the company has opened new stores in Canada, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, placing its international store count over the 1,000 mark.
GameStop operates 4,816 stores worldwide, including its U.S. operations.