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Ace named America's favorite home improvement store


Ace Hardware is America’s favorite home improvement store and Costco is the favorite for home furnishings, according to a new survey by Market Force Information.

The findings are based on consumers’ satisfaction levels and their likelihood to recommend the retailer to others.

In the home improvement sector, Ace Hardware earned the top spot with a composite loyalty score of 61% (out of a potential 70%). Menards came in second, at 50%, followed by Lowe’s, Home Depot and Walmart.

Market Force also looked at how the top brands fare in various operational and product attributes, including value, merchandise selection, brand selection, cleanliness, organized merchandise, availability of green products, and checkout speed. Ace Hardware ranked first in nearly every category, with particularly strong marks for organized merchandise and speedy checkouts. Menards scored highest for merchandise selection. Lowe’s also performed well across the board.

Overall, consumers expressed the highest levels of satisfaction with their store’s cleanliness and checkout speed. Conversely, they were least satisfied with the availability of green or eco-friendly products, making it a potential area for brands to differentiate.

“More than anything else, our home improvement and home furnishings retailer study reinforced our belief that, in order to increase satisfaction and sales, it’s no longer good enough to just be good enough,” said Cheryl Flink, chief strategy officer for Market Force Information. “With fierce competition and plenty of choices available, retailers should be striving to delight every customer on attributes related to service, value, atmosphere and merchandise. Retailers that figure out how to deliver on those fronts will reap the rewards and win the hearts of shoppers.”

Home furnishings

Consumers rated Costco as delivering the best home furnishings experience, primarily because of its high ranking on value. Costco earned the top spot with a composite loyalty score of 63%. Target ranked second with 57%, followed by Bed, Bath & Beyond, Kohl’s and Walmart.

Target ranked first in four categories: cleanliness, checkout speed, organized merchandise, and availability of green products.

In other findings, mobile app usage was significantly higher for home furnishings than home improvement, with Target a clear leader with one-in-four reporting they use its app. Kohl’s had the most popular loyalty program, and 58% had opened a store credit card with them.

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