- Market Force Information’s study on America’s favorite grocery retailers found Publix and Wegmans are the most popular. The survey tallied votes from more than 12,700 shoppers with both retailers scoring 77%.
- Trader Joe’s came in a close second to the two leaders at 76%, with H-E-B ranking third at 69%.
- ALDI was found to have the best value; Publix the best selection and cleanest stores; and Trader Joe’s the friendliest cashiers.
This is the second consecutive year Wegmans, a supermarket chain with stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, has held the top spot in the annual study. But this time it shared the honors with Publix. Trader Joe’s, which was once a top finisher, is regaining some ground and moving back up the list. The recognition is not uncommon for the two supermarket chains: Wegmans and Publix also were named on the 2017 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list.
Wegmans has positive attributes such as reasonable prices and large stores popular with shoppers. Wegmans has often been compared to Disney in the way it trains its employees to provide excellent service to customers, and to create a positive, memorable experience. Wegmans teaches its workers to keep prepared foods areas spotless and educate consumers about the products like cheese, bread and fresh produce they carry throughout the store. Each location has extensive pre-packaged meals popular with busy families, along with pizzas, subs and a dining area.
Publix was singled out in the survey for having the cleanest stores. It’s often been referred to as “the Wegmans of the South” due to its large array of fresh offerings, diverse foods and premium private label products and employee dedication. Soon the the two retailers will clash: Publix is planning to open stores in Virginia where Wegmans has a heavy presence, while Wegmans is expanding into North Carolina where Publix has several stores.
As grocery stores face increased competition from other brick-and-mortar locations, Amazon and meal-kit delivery services such as Blue Apron, pleasing consumers who might otherwise be tempted to leave for other options is crucial. Wegmans and Publix seemed to have figured that out. Savvy retailers should evaluate their own company values and practices to see how they can better emulate these grocery success stories.