Waitrose leads the way in supermarket satisfaction survey

Waitrose: tops satisfaction survey
Waitrose: tops satisfaction survey

LONDON - The high-end grocery retailers Waitrose and Marks & Spencer are providing a better service for their customers than all of the UK's larger supermarkets, according to a new Which? survey published today.

Waitrose is the UK's "favourite" supermarket and makes more customers "happy" than any of its larger high street rivals, according the report. The store only fell down in terms of price.

The "big four" supermarkets – Sainsbury's, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons – may be where most people continue to do their shop, but customer satisfaction scores for all of them were notably lower than Waitrose's rating of 79%, ranging from just 49% to 58%.

In second place, satisfaction levels for M&S were 64%. The poll's findings follow the retailer posting its strongest food sales on record in the run-up to Christmas, with sales of more than £50m in the two weeks to 23 December.

Conducted in November 2009, the Which? supermarket report incorporates the views of more than 13,000 representative consumers.

In addition to the success of the high-end chains, the report also suggests the nation's love affair with discount superstores shows no sign of abating, with Aldi and Lidl coming joint third in the satisfaction poll, with a score of 61%.

The bargain superstores also matched the big four on perceived product quality, including the quality of fresh fruit and veg, and beat them on price.

However, the narrower range of products at both Aldi and Lidl was suggested as the reason why shoppers were still more likely to use them for a "top-up shop" rather than their main shop.

Budget retailer Netto, at the foot of the satisfaction table with 41%, demonstrated that simply being low-cost was not enough for shoppers, with one respondent likening the experience to "shopping in a junk shop".

Peter Vicary-Smith, chief executive of Which?, said: "The success of some budget supermarkets in our survey proves that savvy shoppers can make the most of their money without compromising on quality.

"UK shoppers want the whole package – great value for money, a wide range of quality products, and a pleasant shopping environment. It's not rocket science, but those supermarkets that consistently get it wrong should beware – shoppers will vote with their feet and take their business elsewhere."

Satisfaction levels for online supermarkets tended to fare better than their high street counterparts, although their position in the league table remains broadly the same, with Waitrosedeliver.com coming joint top with Ocado, with an 80% satisfaction score.

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