Amazon, Publix, Nordstrom, Costco among top performers in customer satisfaction

Ann Arbor, Mich. -- Publix Super Markets and Nordstrom are the highest ranked bricks-and-mortar retailers in a report released Tuesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). While supermarkets overall are up 1.3% to 76, Publix remains the grocer to beat, with a score of 84.

The best of the best among all retailers — traditional or online — is Amazon, with a score of 86, followed by online retailer Newegg at 85. Next in line are two more websites: Overstock at 83 and eBay at 81.

Other highly ranked traditional retailers include Nordstrom with an ACSI score of 84 (up 2% over last year), Costco with a score of 83 (+1%), J.C. Penney at 82 (+2%), Sam’s Club at 81 (+4%).

In the office supply sector, Staples and Office Depot both slip 2% to 79, while OfficeMax nearly catches them at 78, bouncing back 5% following a loss in 2010.

In home improvement, four years of steady gains bring The Home Depot to an all-time ACSI high of 78 (+4% for 2011), while Lowe’s gains 3% to 79.

TJX comes out of the holiday season at 78 (+3%), while Gap rises 4% to a record high of 77.

Health & personal care stores retreat for a second year and are the only retail category to lose customer satisfaction ground in 2011. Among the big three chains, Walgreen loses 3% and drops into a tie with an unchanged Rite Aid at 75. Customer satisfaction with CVS Caremark dwindles to a seven-year low of 73 (-1%), perhaps symptomatic of the company’s cost-cutting in the face of depressed sales, the report said.