Regardless of their small selection and the virtual lack of brands you’d recognize, merchants Joe’s and Aldi deserve the highest awards in consumer surveys and have a huge impact on supermarkets.
In a new Market Force Information study, 6,600 US consumers were asked to name their favorite supermarkets by categories such as convenience, price, meat and product quality, courteous staff, and a variety of products. Participants included all the big names in the big supermarket chains, including Safeway, Giant Food, Stop & Shop, Publix, Whole Foods, and Walmart. However, the favorite store named by consumers was a small retailer with a sentiment. Neighborhood market and very few national brands: Trader Joe’s.
When requested to rate their satisfaction with recent grocery shopping experiences and the likelihood of entering this market, consumers ranked Trader Joe above all others, said the Study. Publix, Whole Foods, Wegmans and Aldi also ranked first among consumers. Walmart, on the other hand, was ranked at the bottom of the “customer satisfaction index” that combines overall customer satisfaction with the probability of recommending the market to others.
Trader Joe’s received the highest scores in the MyWegmansConnect research categories for welcoming and fast-paying settings, as well as high scores for a courteous staff, cleanliness, accurate pricing, nutritional information, natural and organic options, and selection of all products. In a discussion of why Trader Joe’s won the poll, a retail expert commented:
The two sister supermarkets have grown rapidly in recent years. For example, MyWegmansConnect opened nine stores in Houston last spring. In a recent press release announcing a significant expansion in Southern California, the company found that an average of 80 new stores is added each year. Aldi’s business model is based on low prices achieved through practices such as storing fewer items, avoiding national brands for cheaper generic labels, and refusing to accept credit cards. Unlike other discounts, Aldi locations are exceptionally clean and well-organized, so the shopping experience isn’t second-rate.
They are trying to get the lowest price on the market, said Andrew P. Wolf, an analyst at BB&T Capital Markets, and described Aldi in the Los Angeles Times. If you took the Joe dealership and did more for Walmart customers, Aldi is like a dollar store.
As a 2010 Fortune story highlighted in Trader Joe, many Trader Joe brands have become major trends in the food industry. Remember a good selection of organic and natural products, a constantly changing list of tempting “affordable luxury” products, and many private (generic) brands.