OPERATIONS

Survey: Sam’s Club and Publix tops in customer experience

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Waban, Mass. — Research results released Tuesday by Temkin Group, which rates the customer experience of 206 large companies across 18 industries, showed that only eight companies deliver excellent customer experience: Sam’s Club and Publix led the pack, followed by Starbucks, Subway, Chick-fil-A, Aldi, Winn-Dixie, H.E.B., and credit unions.

According to the 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings, in its second year, 76 companies (37% of the total) earned "poor" or "very poor" ratings.

The research examines customer experience across 18 industries: airlines, appliance makers, auto dealers, banks, car rental agencies, computer makers, credit card issuers, fast-food chains, grocery chains, health plans, hotel chains, insurance carriers, Internet service providers, investment firms, parcel delivery services, retailers, TV service providers, and wireless carriers.

Grocery chains, fast-food chains and retailers are the top three industries, earning an average rating of "good." At the bottom of the ratings, TV service providers, Internet service providers, and health plans earn an average rating of "poor." Health plans show up in seven of the bottom 14 spots in the ratings.

"While many companies aren’t delivering experiences that meet customers’ needs, it’s an epidemic for TV service providers, Internet service providers, and health plans," said Bruce Temkin, author of the report and managing partner of Temkin Group.

The research by Temkin Group also analyzed the changes in ratings between 2011 and 2012. Among retailers, Kohl’s had the largest decline.

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REAL ESTATE

Buca di Beppo and GGP launch expansion plan

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Chicago — General Growth Properties and Italian restaurant chain Buca di Beppo announced Tuesday the scheduled opening of 10 Buca di Beppo restaurants set to open at various properties within the GGP mall portfolio during late summer 2012.

The multi-restaurant deal marks a significant expansion of the Buca di Beppo restaurant group. New mall locations include Governor’s Square Mall in Tallahassee, Fla., August (Ga.) Mall, Oakwood Center in New Orleans and Town East Mall in Dallas.

The new Buca di Beppo restaurants will range in size from 4,500 sq. ft. to 7,000 sq. ft. and all units are scheduled to open in the summer 2012. This expansion initiative is the first of multiple deals that are in development with Buca di Beppo and various GGP properties throughout North America.

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FINANCE

Report: CVS Caremark contributes $1.2 billion to Rhode Island economy

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Woonsocket, R.I. — CVS Caremark on Tuesday released an economic impact study of its contribution to the economy of its headquarters state of Rhode Island.

The Pricewaterhouse Coopers-conducted study showed that the company’s Rhode Island operations contributed more than $1.2 billion to Rhode Island’s GDP in 2010, approximately 12,000 jobs, $831 million in labor income, and $116 million in state and local taxes.

Over the next 10 years, the study found that CVS Caremark’s contribution to Rhode Island’s GDP is projected to be approximately $16.6 billion, assuming its growth matches the average annual growth for the national economy, which is projected by the Congressional Budget Office to be 4.7%. However, if CVS Caremark’s growth over the next 10 years matches its historical growth, its contribution over the next decade would increase to approximately $35 billion, the PwC study projected.

"The results of this study are further evidence that as we have grown as a company, we have also helped Rhode Island to grow," said CVS Caremark president and CEO Larry J. Merlo.

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