Publix Super Markets is No. 1 among retailers on the 2012 American Customer Satisfaction Index, earning 86 points, a 2.4% increase compared with 2011. Whole Foods Market scored 80, Kroger 79, Winn-Dixie Stores 78, SUPERVALU 76 and Wal-Mart Stores 72.
Most grocery stores, warehouse stores and other retailers appear to be increasing their adoption of self-checkout systems, and a consulting firm says it's seeing a "60% to 70% growth in the number of lanes installed." So far men appear more willing to embrace the change, while women and older people still gravitate toward traditional checkout lanes.
The law passed by the Maryland legislature last week, requiring large employers such as Wal-Mart Stores to spend at least 8% of their payroll on health care, may have trouble being duplicated in the many other states that are trying because the other bills are written too broadly, analysts say. Nevertheless, the law has already succeeded in raising the debate on how to handle the nation's uninsured.
While Kroger Co. remains the dominant player in the Central Ohio grocery market, the grocer lost some market share in February, as Wal-Mart and Giant Eagle posted gains. Kroger also is feeling the pinch from specialty retailers such as Wild Oats, analysts say.
Publix Super Markets will expand its reach into the gas station business when it opens its seventh fueling station later this year, with a location in Franklin, Tenn. Publix is hoping to keep the pressure on competitors such as Wal-Mart and Kroger, which operate hundreds of gas stations.