What are the best grocery stores in America? Poll results are surprising.


Is the fix in drones and discounts?

Solitaire is a game app company that designs short-attention-span type games like its Spider and FreeCell solitaire games. The company’s apps get a lot of use in the grocery store checkout lines and when the company designed a supermarket quality survey, many of its users took part.

The study found that Trader Joe’s (TJ), Costco, and Wegmans are America’s favorite major grocery chains. But the study also ranked individual stores across the U.S.

In doing so, it identified the Giant Eagle Supermarket on Cedar Ave. in Pittsburgh as the worst overall. At the same time, Central Market on West Freeway. in Fort Worth, Tex., ranked as the third-best store in America, coming close to the satisfaction levels achieved by Trader Joe’s.

“Trader Joe's dominates this list with 45 locations, exemplifying its success in delivering a high-quality customer experience,” the researchers said, emphasizing that the reason may be that smaller gives the chain a better chance to achieve remarkable levels of customer satisfaction.

We have our reasons

So, what’s driving these consumer responses? The reasons shoppers love to hate the store they shop at the most are long tines, poor customer service, sub-par produce and high prices. 

Notably, Kroger appears six times in the long line list, with King Soopers and Whole Foods also frequently mentioned. Long lines also appear to be a common issue across a range of stores, from high-end giants such as Whole Foods to budget options like Food 4 Less.

Interestingly, shoppers don’t have pricing complaints with the larger grocery stores, but rather the niche boutique and ethnic ones.

On the customer service side, a good number of Kroger stores also appear in the breakdown of individual locations, but the company only landed one individual store in the overall Top 10, while Walmart placed six on that breakdown.


Kroger and Walmart are plopping down big bucks to fix their issues

Kroger is pulling out all the stops to complete its merger with Albertsons and 56% of Walmart’s net sales are from the grocery category. Both chains may be using this research to bolster their positions.

On the customer service side, Walmart may think that paying managers more could go a long way. To do that, it’s getting very competitive, too – so competitive that today’s youth might want to rethink spending a quarter-million dollars and eight years of their lives becoming a pediatrician when they can make $230,000 as a Walmart manager and never have to crack a college textbook. 

However, in all fairness, a manager at a local Walmart has essentially two stores under their belt – the grocery store and the retail store – so they’re paid accordingly. 

At Kroger,  the company says it’s expanding its selection of fresh, affordable food with a lot of emphasis on expanding its in-store experiences – like its sampling program – to boost sales. 

The company is also offering more affordable choices and a wider selection of products. It’s committed to investing $500 million to create these "affordable choices" for customers, which is expected to result in significant decreases in merchandise prices.

The real upgrade though is investing heavily in delivery so customers will never have to gripe about long lines or bad customer service again. But they are doing it in different ways.

Drone delivery

Walmart recently partnered with Alphabet's Wing to expand its drone delivery service in the Dallas metro area, aiming to dominate the last-mile delivery market. This service allows for faster delivery without emissions and has already completed over 20,000 drone deliveries in the last two years. 

Despite facing customer service challenges, such as reports of canceled orders and service mishaps, Walmart is optimistic about the potential of drone delivery to revolutionize retail convenience.

Kroger, on the other hand, is enhancing its delivery services by using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve third-party product listings on its seller marketplace. The main focus is to provide clearer, more informative product listings and offer better insights into product performance for sellers.

And to get customers to try delivery instead of living in a checkout line, Kroger has rolled out a new fleet of refrigerated trucks to keep frozen and dairy items cold, and is giving delivery customers the option of scheduling a 1-hour time slot to get all of their groceries next day or later in the week with no hidden fees or markups. 

Take a Home Warranty Quiz. Get matched with an Authorized Partner.