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News Room

SA’s Best And Worst Supermarkets

Megan Ellis
2017-05-14
Not all supermarkets were created equal. This if the latest South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) report is anything to go by.
Not all supermarkets were created equal, if the latest South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) report is anything to go by. SAcsi released a report, based on survey findings by Consulta, detailing how satisfied South Africans are with our local supermarkets. The report, released in April, found that customer loyalty to specific chains decreased, along with economic strain, in 2016. Consumers are increasingly looking for value for money as they feel a pinch on their wallets. But, when looking at satisfaction with customer service, which supermarkets fared the best? And, conversely, who fared the worst? CompareGuru takes a look at the findings:

Woolworths Tops Rankings

Despite being considered one of the most expensive local supermarkets, customers are still favouring Woolworths for their customer service. The retail giant scored 82.1 (out of 100) on the index, ranking it well above the industry average of 76.2. Woolworths is obviously doing something right in the eyes of customers - since its score increased by almost two points compared to its 2015 score. The SAcsi score is based on customer expectations, perceived quality, and perceived value. It also weighs whether service from the retailer meets, exceeds, or falls short of these expectations. Woolworths received a high score for its perceived quality, with Consulta referring to the score as "unmatched" by other chains.
"Woolworths has succeeded in providing high-quality products, convenience, and fast service, while growing its footprint rapidly. Including a growing presence in petrol station forecourts," CEO of Consulta, Professor Adré Schreuder says.
The supermarket chain was also the most likely to be recommended by consumers. But, what about the scores of the other franchises?

Shoprite And Spar See Decline In Satisfaction

Compared to 2013, when customer satisfaction was generally high, all supermarkets have seen a decline in approval. However, Shoprite and Spar are the two retailers which saw a year-on-year decline between 2015 and 2016. The other three supermarkets in the index all saw an increase in satisfaction, albeit small increments. Shoprite saw the biggest year-on-year decline in satisfaction. The retailer's score dropped by 2.1 points, from 77.1 in 2015 to 75.5 in 2016. Spar's score decline was smaller, dropping by 0.5 points. The supermarket scored 75.7 in 2015, but dropped to 75.2 in 2016. This places both Shoprite's and Spar's scores below industry average - albeit marginally. The full ranking can be seen below:
Supermarket SAcsi Score
Woolworths 82.1
Checkers 77.2
Pick n Pay 76.5
Shoprite 75.5
Spar 75.2

Reduction In Loyalty

While customer satisfaction for retailers like Woolworths, Checkers, and Pick n Pay have improved, customer loyalty is on the decline. Rather than being a result of customer service, this decline is due to financial constraints on consumers.
"In tough economic times, the price of goods is likely to influence consumers’ loyalty, even though they are satisfied customers,” Professor Schreuder says. "But, price-motivated ‘loyalty’ is not permanent. So, while customers may display less brand loyalty now, supermarkets cannot afford to stop investing in positive shopping experiences."
The decrease in loyalty has been seen across supermarket brands. Loyalty scores also do not necessarily correlate with satisfaction scores, except for Woolworths.
"Overall customer loyalty decreased from 76.4 in 2015 to 74.2 in 2016. Yet Woolworths held steady with the most loyal customers and a score of 77.3, followed by Shoprite (74.9), Pick n Pay (74.6), Spar (73.5), and then Checkers (72.5)," the index says.
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