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Americans Feeling Less Satisfied With Shopping Experience

A lot of the decline in satisfaction is due to higher prices.
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U.S. consumers are generally less satisfied when they go shopping, according to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) report released on Wednesday. Overall satisfaction with the retail experience dropped for the first time in four years. The overall decline was about 1.5 percent. Brick-and-mortar stores had flat or lower scores. Only online retailers are up from a year ago.

“It’s not huge, but it’s definitely significant,” said ACSI director David VanAmburg. “A lot of this is due to higher prices, especially for non-discretionary items.”

Here are the rankings for national chains in the various categories covered by this survey of more than 8,700 shoppers:

  • Department/Discount Stores: Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Target were the only big-name retailers to see their scores go up. While Nordstrom (86) gained four percent, Wal-Mart (68) dropped four percent and remained at the bottom of this category. Dillard’s (81) is in second place, followed by Kohl’s and Target (tied at 80), Macys and Dollar Tree (tied at 79).
  • Supermarkets: Trader Joe’s and Wegmans tied for the top spot with an ACSI score of 85. Publix, the perennial leader, dropped five percent to 82. Whole Foods, Target’s grocery division and ALDI all scored an 81.
  • Drug Stores: Rite Aid’s score jumped five percent to 78, Walgreens hit the industry average (77) and CVS Caremark dipped to 75. Smaller drug stores rated higher than the national average.
  • Specialty Retail: Costco (84) remains in first place, followed by BJ’s Wholesale Club (81), Sam’s Club (80) and Big Lots (77). Lowe’s (81) is the top-rated home improvement chain. The Home Depot (76) fell four percent to near the bottom of this category.
  • Internet Retailers: Amazon (86) remains far ahead of the pack, followed by Newegg (81) and Netflix (81). eBay (79) and Overstock (77) fell below the industry average of 82.


-- Herb Weisbaum, NBC News contributor