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Wegmans tops Consumer Reports grocery list

Consumer Reports today released a survey of 24,203 of its subscribers about one of the most frequent shopping destinations for the majority of families–the grocery store.

Wegmans, which has a store in Fredericksburg, scored the highest marks in the survey. Trader Joe’s, a store that is one of the most-wished-for retailers by readers who respond to our own surveys, came in second.

You can read about the survey here (subscription required). Consumer Reports research uncovered a few interesting tidbits about our relationship with our grocery store:

  • The biggest reason respondents gave for “firing” a grocery store and switching to another was the search for lower prices. Next came bad food, then rude employees, then crowds.
  • When we complain about our supermarket of choice, our biggest gripe is usually that not enough checkout lanes are open.
  • WalMart Supercenter, which has several locations in our area, had the most shoppers in the survey, and scores highly for its low prices. However, it was also the most-criticized chain, receiving gripes about lack of open checkouts, out-of-stock items, rude employees, spotty pricing and a confusing layout.
  • Food for thought: If you get in a checkout line with more than five people in front of you, you are a lot more likely to buy a candy bar you don’t need.

Here are the scores of several chains in our area, and the areas where they were praised and criticized.

Wegmans (top chain): Reader score 88; highest rating for service, perishables and cleanliness, good rating for prices.

Trader Joe’s (No. 2 chain): Reader score 86; highest rating for service, price and cleanliness, good rating for perishables.

Aldi: Reader score 79; Good ratings for prices, average on service, perishables.

Target: Reader score 78; good ratings for price, cleanliness; average for service, perishables.

Virginia Giant: Reader score 74; Good rating for cleanliness; average on service, perishables, price.

Food Lion: Reader score 73; average in all areas.

WalMart Supercenter: Reader score 69; Good ratings for prices; Bad ratings for service, perishables.

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