Trader Joe’s Gets High Marks, Stop & Shop Low In Consumer Reports’ Supermarket Ratings

by Categorized: Customer Service, Food/Beer, Retail Date:

Trader Joe’s and Costco were rated among the top supermarkets, Stop & Shop at the lower end and Walmart’s Supercenter at the bottom of ratings released in the May issue of Consumer Reports.
The magazine used responses from more than 24,000 readers who rated almost 43,000 shopping experiences. Trader Joe’s, at No. 2, and Costco, at No. 5, were among the top area supermarkets. Wegmans, a mid-Atlantic chain, was No. 1 with top marks for service, perishables and cleanliness.
Whole Foods (12), Aldi (20), Target/SuperTarget (22), ShopRite (24) and Big Y (25) finished in the top 25 of the 52 rated supermarkets. Stop & Shop, a dominant presence in Connecticut, finished 41st, with Walmart Supercenter, at No. 51, finishing just ahead of the lowest-rated chain, Pathmark.
Other area supermarkets and their rankings: Price Chopper (30), IGA (32), Sam’s Club (33) and BJ’s Wholesale Club (34).
Shoppers’ biggest complaints included not enough open checkouts, congested or cluttered aisles and out-of-stock advertised specials.

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35 thoughts on “Trader Joe’s Gets High Marks, Stop & Shop Low In Consumer Reports’ Supermarket Ratings

  1. Kim

    I use S&S and have to agree with the crowded aisles and unused checkout counters. No problems with food, though

  2. dccb9

    I’m surprised by these rankings.

    I regularly visit Stop and Shop and have no complaints – the food is fresh, the store is clean and the staff are very good at opening up new lanes if busy.

    I am very surprised by the high ranking of Trader Joe’s which generally stocks low-quality goods, posing as high-quality products. The produce selection is poor and not fresh and most of the other items are either over-priced, or if low-priced, of low quality. The store relies too much about form and flash, not substance. It is for people who think they know food, but really don’t.

      1. dccb9

        Not quite. But I guess that was an easier way to attack my opinion than a substantive response.

        1. Scott

          The thing we have to remember is that these rankings are based on an entire chain of stores. It doesn’t mean that every store meets the same standards. While one store may be perfectly good and have their act together, a low rating likely means many other stores (if not all) from that chain are of much lower quality and do not meet the same standards as the store one person is familiar with. Conversely, if someone is shocked by a high rating it could easily mean that the store near them does a poor job while the rest of the stores from that chain are vastly superior due to different management and staff.

      2. Bob

        Totally agree. I will back it up. Stop and Shop is way overpriced. Bought 5 things at Market Basket in Ma. All cheaper than S&S saved over 6 dollars at Market Basket. Plus market basket has premium OJ made from 100% Florida juice. 2.99 compared to 3.99 for S&S their stores are dirty customer service lacking. They are expensive since they have to send their profits back to the Netherlands You will see S&S sold soon. They are going down the tubes

  3. Daniel

    Totally agree with the ranking. I stopped using S&S because of high process, low quality, long lines at very few cash registers and worst of all, tons of expired products on the shelves.

    1. LMHtfd

      The New Park Avenue (Hartford) Stop & Shop is dirty, inside and out. Floors never clean except Tuesday and Wednesday after cleaning up from the weekend. The parking lot is filthy, full of trash without a garbage can in sight. Cars always parked or standing on the fire lanes and others without hangtags taking up the handicapped spots. I guess they can’t be blamed for the behavior of their patrons but there are ways to manage those problems instead of letting them become entrenched. There is a security guard in a vehicle who goes around and around the parking lot all day yet seems to do nothing substantial. Won’t even get into the expired food on the shelves. Unfortunately I can’t afford to drive farther to shop for groceries or I would.

  4. Wayne

    I find that Stop and Shop tries to make due with the fewest open registers and in the Glastonbury store (both) I seldom see them move to open others even when there’s a lengthy line.

    I’ve begun using Shoprite which is only a short drive away.

    1. Mike

      wow, shoprite is a disaster. the blvd store is terrible with their lanes, but oak street isn’t bad.

  5. SM

    Wegmans is not a mid-Atlantic chain. It’s headquartered in Rochester, NY and only opened its first store outside New York state in 1993.

  6. Lyme Resident

    I have found Stop and Shop to have higher prices that I assume are to make up for the gas points they give out. I also find it challenging to get anything at the deli (especially in Old Saybrook) even when there aren’t a lot of customers waiting. The workers always seem to have something else to do (or chat amongst themselves) rather than wait on people.

    Shoprite has excellent customer service and much lower prices.

    Super Walmart never seems to have enough cashiers, although everyone is always very friendly.

    1. Mike

      Shoprite has better sales, but all they do is run out. stop and shop is much cheaper with regular prices, although not as good as aldi.

  7. Higganum

    I agree, Stop & Shop is unbelievavbly overpriced. Middletown tends to be on the dirty and crowded side as well. Wegman’s is a fantastic store and I wish they would move into Connecticut.

  8. Berlin

    I agree with the low rankings for S & S. They are expensive and do not carry a wide selection. It seems like they discontinue a lot of things.

  9. BC

    s & s totally deserves this ramking. always crowded. never close to enough open registers, and prices that are almost always higher than it’s competitors. never will understand why so many go there.

  10. Gordon

    Stop N Shop recently advertised a meat special, the fine print required a purchase of “five pounds or more”. None of the individually-wrapped items weighed five pounds, and the cashier wouldn’t honor the sale price on two packages that when combined met the weight requirement. Deception and arrogance are two things I think of now when I think of Stop N Shop.

  11. Carol Ann

    I gave up on Stop & Shop several years ago, never have what they advertise, too much damaged smashed unusable things from careless unsupervised baggers. Some of the newer Big Y’s are cleaner, better grades of meat & better overall selections, produce leaves a lot to be desired, lines not too bad during the day for us Seniors, they are all expensive, no free lunch. Wish we had Trader Joe or Stew Leonard.

  12. anon

    LOVE Wegmans!! They just opened thwir first store in New England (MA) this fall…wish they would come to Hartford.

  13. LC2012

    I’m from Rochester, NY and always shopped at Wegmans. They are the best and when I return to Rochester for a visit, Wegman’s is one of the first places I visit. They have an incredible bulk food section (among other things) that nothing here in CT even comes close to. I wish they would come to CT!

  14. shopper

    god i wish that wegmans was in central CT. What a store. but for now – shoprite got dem low low prices

  15. cobbweb10

    Stop & Shop and not-so-super-markets like it are dinosaurs. They’ll all soon be extinct before they wake up and smell their expired bacon. They’re all overpriced, under-stocked and understaffed.
    These days, who has time or the inclination to search for coupons, wait for special pricing, etc.?
    This just in: Cut the b.s. and drop your prices.
    Once Walmart came to the area, I only went to S&S for 2 items – both of which I’d buy in bulk:
    1. S&S’s formerly fresh-baked, large, solid bagels, and
    2. S&S’s frozen cheese ravioli.
    But since:
    A) the quality of S&S’s bagels nose-dived (they’re much smaller and they’re pumped full of air pockets, then frozen, shipped and thawed prior to display), and
    B) S&S frozen cheese ravioli is always either completely out of stock or the store only has a minimal # of bags in stock,
    after YEARS of beefs to in-store managers AND to corporate customer ‘service’ reps, I finally had enough and stopped shopping there years ago.
    If we have to deal with lack of service, we’ll pay a lot less at Walmart and at Aldi.
    Though not mentioned in the article, Aldi has a limited selection – but it’s still worth the occasional trip.
    Two final comments:
    1. JoJo: very funny – you beat the rest of us slower thinkers/reactors to the punch.
    2. SM and Bob: thanks for the geography lesson.
    SM – you’re not a frustrated upstate NYer seeking validation, are you?
    We’re getting a ‘Horton Hears A Who’ vibe…

  16. Sue

    I went TO Wegmans last year. My Sister lives in Rochester. They have a beautiful store-well stocked good food and prices. Stores around here need to learn from them or watch out if Wegmans comes to CT

  17. JO

    I find S&S prices to generally be higher than other stores. We need more competition. Another problem I have with them is shelf labelling that often misleads. For instance ’5 for $10′ doesn’t mean one will cost $2… smaller print, easily overlooked, says ‘must buy 5′.
    Recently, a shelf sign said ’2/$4′. It didn’t specify brand. When I bought 2 items, I was charged full price. Customer service then told me that the sale only applied to the store brand. (At that point, ‘tho, they did give me the difference.)

  18. JoanE

    Some of the local small shops in Hartford have the best prices and fresher foods. I love Appletree. If they can’t get fresh food at a good price they just don’t offer it. When their sign over a fruit says “very sweet” it’s accurate. Adolph’s on New Britain Ave has outstanding pork (they smoke it themselves) and is very reasonable. You can get great deals at other markets. It’s not one-stop-shopping but it’s up to you if its worth the effort.

  19. Poindexter Billfold

    I lived in Florida for a long time and I used to miss Publix when I came home. However, I’ve learned that there is no better grocery store on earth than the Highland Park Market in Glastonbury. Outstanding customer service, wonderful pweple, the highest quality meat and more. As far as price is concerned, I don’t waste my time comparing-service is more important to me.

  20. Edward

    Anyone who thinks S&S is a good supermarket clearly has never been to a Wegmans. Seriously, I don’t know how S&S execs visit the new Wegmans in MA (where S&S is headquartered so you know they have) and go back to their store and really think its even in the same ballpark.
    TJs is decent but too small. Plus meats are all prepackaged and there’s no butcher, fish market, etc.
    Please Wegmans come to CT!!!

  21. Catspaw

    “May issue of Consumer Reports”? Is this a ranking of Connecticut stores? Rating a ‘chain’ with 24,000 respondents hardly describes an individual stores performance.

  22. None of your business

    Stop and shops management sucks and I am an employee if they were friendlier and more respectful to their staff their employees would probably be the same way to thier customers I meanit’s a chain reaction and if management has messed up an employees mood for some bs then then the mood of the employees may change I’m just saying it does start at the top and it takes nothing out of a managers pocket to smile

    1. Who cares

      As an ex-Assistant Manager at S&S I can say that they tend to get rid of the Managers who are customer service oriented and kind and friendly to their employees. Instead they prefer to keep those Managers who spend their entire day in the office playing on their cell phones pretending to look busy. I guess that’s what the company wants to promote. Clearly by the responses on this page they are suceeding.

  23. Lisa

    I have been a customer of Trader Joe’s since the ’70′s. They are not good anymore. They used to have medium quality for low prices. Now they have low quality for medium prices. I recently shopped there after a long gap and have to return two things. The fresh spinach looks as though it should have been quarantined and burned so whatever disease it has won’t spread to other plants.

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