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Survey: Publix and Target top in pharmacy customer satisfaction among grocery and mass retailers

Westlake Village, Calif. -- In a survey released Tuesday by J.D. Power and Associates, which polled customers about their expectations of their pharmacists, Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Health Mart, Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy, Publix and Target rank highest in pharmacy customer satisfaction in their respective segments.

The 2011 U.S. National Pharmacy Study also found that pharmacy customers have increasingly higher expectations when it comes to wait time. Among chain drugstore customers who wait less than three minutes to give their prescription information to pharmacy staff, satisfaction averages 836 on a 1,000-point scale, while satisfaction declines to 783 among those who have to wait more than three minutes.

In comparison, satisfaction in 2010 significantly increased or decreased at seven minutes.

"Customers are expecting more from their brick and mortar pharmacy — not just in terms of wait time, but also in terms of contact with the pharmacist and pharmacy staff," said Rick Millard, senior director of the healthcare practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "In fact, brick-and-mortar pharmacies are able to better differentiate themselves by offering additional services from the pharmacy staff.”

The study, now in its fifth year, measures customer satisfaction with pharmacies in two segments: brick and mortar and mail-order. The brick-and-mortar segment includes chain drug stores, supermarkets and mass merchandisers. Five key factors that contribute to customer satisfaction with brick-and-mortar pharmacies are examined: prescription ordering and pick-up process; store; cost competitiveness; non-pharmacist staff; and pharmacist.

While customers are considerably less satisfied with chain pharmacies than with supermarkets (808 versus 826, respectively), satisfaction is lowest with mass merchandiser pharmacies (797). However, mass merchandiser pharmacies perform particularly well in cost competitiveness.

Among chain drug store pharmacies, Good Neighbor Pharmacy and Health Mart rank highest in a tie with scores of 851. The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy follows in the segment rankings with 831.

Target ranks highest among mass merchandisers for a fifth consecutive year with a score of 846. Sam's Club (837) and Costco (834) follow in the rankings.

Publix ranks highest for a second consecutive year in the supermarket segment, with a score of 867. Wegmans follows with 848, and Winn-Dixie ranks third with 834.

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