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January 30, 2024

Press Release Retail and Consumer Shipping Study 2023-2024

For more information contact:
Denise DiMeglio
[email protected]

Over 60% of Retailers See Customer Satisfaction Spikes, With Costco, H-E-B, and Publix Leading the Way, ACSI® Data Show

Trader Joe’s multiyear run atop supermarkets comes to an end

ANN ARBOR, Mich., (Jan. 30, 2024) — The outlook for the Retail Trade sector is promising, with overall customer satisfaction surging 4% to a score of 78.0 (out of 100), according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI®) Retail and Consumer Shipping Study 2023-2024.

More than 60% of retailers measured see their individual ACSI scores improve in 2024, while better prices at the pump send consumer perceptions of value soaring, catapulting satisfaction with gas stations 15% to a score of 75 — its highest level in more than five years.

“As seen across other sectors of the economy, issues stemming from the pandemic, including supply disruptions and uneven service quality, are dissipating,” said Forrest Morgeson, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Michigan State University and Director of Research Emeritus at the ACSI. “For industries like supermarkets and gas stations, moderating inflation is helping to improve the value proposition. And leading up to the holiday season, consumers looking to stretch their dollars responded positively to discounters and retailers that excelled in sales and promotions or pumped more value into the experience through private label offerings.”

Chewy leads online retailers, while Amazon continues to deliver

Customer satisfaction with online retailers remains unchanged at an ACSI score of 80.

Despite slipping 1%, Chewy backs up its impressive 2023 debut to earn a second straight industry win with a score of 84. The online pet supply store continues to delight its customers, receiving top marks for both quality and value. Chewy’s multichannel customer support also shines, and the site is a leader in this area amid a competitive field.

Meanwhile, second place Amazon, down 1% to 83, remains the gold standard in various key aspects of the online shopper experience, including ease of navigation and the checkout process. The online retail juggernaut continues to innovate in the mobile shopping environment, adding new features such as Consult-A-Friend, multimodal search, augmented reality, and Find-on-Amazon.

Costco (up 3%), eBay (up 7%), and HP Store (up 7%) tie for third at 81. Costco reports strong ecommerce sales to close out the year, which can be attributed to stellar mobile app and website performances. It didn’t make any “big enhancements and changes” to its site leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, but the site maintained 100% availability during the Cyber 5 period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday.

Nike (up 4%), Nordstrom (up 1%), and Etsy (unchanged) all finish with an industry average score of 80.

Groupon, Staples, and Walgreens each experience a substantial 7% satisfaction increase, but despite the improvement, Walgreens’ score of 74 is the lowest mark in the industry.

Macy’s and Costco top general merchandise retailers, but Target has its sights fixed on the leaders

Customer satisfaction with general merchandise retailers climbs 3% to an ACSI score of 77.

Macy’s (up 4%) and Costco (unchanged) top general retailers with ACSI scores of 82. The former helps consumers get more bang for their buck with better sales and promotions and greater value, while the latter can thank its private label offerings for much of its success.

Costco’s Kirkland Signature is considered “cool” and has become one of the main reasons people go to the store these days. There are even TikTok and Instagram accounts dedicated to identifying the best of these products.

Like its wholesale counterpart, Sam’s Club — unchanged at 81 to match Target (up 4%) — also sees a gravitational pull toward its private label. Member’s Mark now accounts for 30% of its total sales.

BJ’s Wholesale Club, unchanged at 80, sits toward the top of the industry too, while Belk (79) and Big Lots (78) experience the largest gains, climbing 5% and 7%, respectively.

Walmart (up 4% to 73) and Dollar General (up 3% to 72) finish at the bottom despite moderate year-over-year gains.

Crowded at the top of specialty retailer industry

Customer satisfaction with specialty retailers stays pat at an ACSI score of 79. There’s a logjam, however, at the top of the industry.

ACSI newcomer Tractor Supply Company and Ace Hardware (up 3%) outperform fellow hardware and home improvement stores at 82, while Pet Supplies Plus debuts with the same score thanks to its value proposition and best-in-class sales and promotions.

O’Reilly Auto Parts meets them at 82 following a 5% surge at a time when rising used car prices are prompting drivers to keep their cars longer.

American Eagle Outfitters (down 2%), Menards (up 1%), and Apple Store (unchanged) each score 81. Six brands sit at 80: Home Depot (up 3%), Hobby Lobby (down 1%), Bath & Body Works (down 2%), Sephora (up 3%), Ulta Beauty (down 1%), and PetSmart (unchanged).

ODP (Office Depot, OfficeMax) drops 1% to 75, yet still outperforms last place GameStop, unchanged at 74.

Costco, H-E-B, and Publix in 3-way tie atop supermarkets, ending Trader Joe’s long reign

Satisfaction among supermarkets skyrockets 4% to an ACSI score of 79 as food inflation slows and consumers perceive stronger value through better sales and promotions.

Costco (up 4%), H-E-B (up 5%), and Publix (up 4%) share a three-way tie atop the industry at 85, upending Trader Joe’s multiyear winning streak. The former leader is next with a steady ACSI score of 84.

Publix sets the standard across much of the in-store experience, including staff courtesy and store cleanliness and layout, while Costco and H-E-B win on value. All three benefit greatly from the popularity of their private label brands.

Sam’s Club (Walmart), just off the leaders, climbs 5% to 83. Meijer and ShopRite experience the biggest gains, each improving 7% to 80. Meanwhile, Walmart, despite improving 4%, finishes last with an ACSI score of 74.

Walmart stands out among drugstores

Unlike its performance among general merchandise retailers or supermarkets, Walmart shines in the drugstore industry. The company’s pharmacy business surges 11%, putting the retail giant in first place along with the smaller drugstores (up 3%) at 82. Walmart’s massive move boosts the industry overall, which rises 1% to an ACSI score of 77.

Walmart’s satisfaction gain is supported by industry-leading value and strong ratings for key factors like merchandise variety and pharmacy services.

There is little differentiation in customer satisfaction among standalone chains Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS, with scores nearly stable compared to a year ago. Rite Aid improves 1% to 76, Walgreens is unchanged at 75, and CVS dips 1% to 74.

The ACSI Retail and Consumer Shipping Study 2023-2024 is based on interviews with 40,264 customers, chosen at random and contacted via email from January 2023 to December 2023. This study scores six retail industries — online retailers, general merchandise retailers, specialty retailers, drugstores, supermarkets, and gas stations — as well as consumer shipping and the U.S. Postal Service. For all customer satisfaction scores, download the full study.

Follow the ACSI on LinkedIn and Twitter at @theACSI.

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the data and information in this release without the express prior written consent of ACSI LLC. 

About the ACSI

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI®) has been a national economic indicator for over 25 years. It measures and analyzes customer satisfaction with more than 400 companies in over 40 industries and 10 economic sectors, including various services of federal and local government agencies. Reported on a scale of 0 to 100, scores are based on data from interviews with roughly 500,000 customers annually. For more information, visit

ACSI and its logo are Registered Marks of American Customer Satisfaction Index LLC.


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