Publix Leads Strong Group of Grocers in Customer Experience

This post examines the 15 grocery chains included in the 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings.

Publix earned the top spot in the grocery industry and is the second overall company across all 206 companies in the study. Aldi, H.E.B., and Winn-Dixie also scored very well. These four grocery chains received “excellent” customer experience ratings, a level that was only earned by eight companies across all 18 industries.

The overall grocery industry earned the top spot out of 18 industries, slightly higher than fast food chains and retailers and well ahead of other industries. The majority of the grocery chains earned “good” ratings. Piggly Wiggly, which is the lowest scoring grocery chain, earned an “okay” rating.

Other highlights from the research include:

  • Publix received the highest Functional rating.
  • Publix and Aldi received the highest Accessible ratings.
  • Publix, Aldi, and Winn-Dixie received the highest Emotional ratings.
  • Piggly WIggly received the lowest scores in all three experience dimensions.

Do you want to see the data? Go to the Temkin Ratings website where you can sort through all of the results for free. You can even purchase the underlying data if you want to get more access.

The bottom line: Grocery chains are doing a pretty good job meeting customer needs

Written by 

I am an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile:

2 thoughts on “Publix Leads Strong Group of Grocers in Customer Experience”

  1. I think this data is misleading. I have been shopping at the Piggly Wiggly’s here in SC forever. I know that they are independently owned and vary from state to state (based on personal experience AND research). I have found this particular group to be fantastic on the customer service scale, and definitely better than any of the other grocers here in my area. My local Publix, you can walk up and stand in front of the deli, bakery or meat counter without so much as a glance from any of the staff. Same is true of Food Lion and Bilo in my experience. I think this is an unfair judge of character given PW’s “homegrown – locally owned” values. I’m a believer.

    1. Hi Mrs. Smith: Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Piggly Wiggly. Since all of the companies we evaluate are very large organizations, they also serve a large number of customers. Even the best rated companies sometimes deliver bad experiences and the lowest rated companies deliver good experiences. So it’s not surprising to find that some customers have great experiences with even the lowest rated companies in an industry. The only way to rate one company versus another is to have a large sample of consumers provide feedback, which is the basis of our ratings. As it turns out, none of the grocery chains are rated that low overall, even Piggly Wiggly. PW has a high “okay” rating and was in the top third of companies. I hope that you continue to have wonderful experiences at PW!

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