Looks like the South has something else to boast about besides voting for Rick Santorum. The cover story in the May 2012 issue of Consumer Reports ranks Publix third out of a total of 52 national supermarket chains. A total of 24,203 shoppers were surveyed about service, quality of meats and produce, price and cleanliness. The results? Miami's trusty Publix, with a reader score of 85, has beat out other big name chains like Costco, Walmart and Whole Foods.
The number one spot was awarded to Wegmans, the Northeast chain, with 88 points and high rankings on perishables and price. Second place was Trader Joes, at 86 points, beating out Publix's votes in terms of price too.
Publix garnered major points with the bakery (probably because of that award-winning key lime pie). The quick check out speed when compared to other national chains also helped. Other chains actually lost points due to slow check outs and Walmart Supercenter, at 69 points, was actually ranked as having one of the slowest check out speeds.
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Whole Foods was ranked as number 12 with a total of 81 points, with those high prices to blame for the lower score.They did rank high in cleanliness, but it wasn't enough to make up for that dreaded moment at check out when the total is always more than expected.
The report also focuses on how to shop smart at supermarkets, since it was found that consumers will fire or give the "heave-ho" to chains if price, service or cleanliness don't meet their expectations. They also include great tips on ways to save money at the store, like by using loyalty cards and combining deals. Also, the report features the many ways that supermarkets strategically place items so you are inclined to spend more money.
So, all in all, Miami consumers, the next time you think about complaining about Publix, you might want to stop yourself. Because on a national scale, we should consider ourselves pretty lucky.