Report: The #1 Department Store for Customer Satisfaction in America

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The latest department and discount store study from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) gives a clear picture of what U.S. retail stores are doing right by the consumer.

ACSI’s Retail and Consumer Shipping Study 2021-2022 ranks what it calls “general merchandise retailers,” which includes traditional department stores and big discount stores that sell a variety of items. The rankings are based on several customer satisfaction benchmarks, including store location, staff helpfulness, merchandise availability and more.

What Is the #1 Department Store for Customer Satisfaction?

With a score of 81 on a 100-point scale, Costco is #1 among department and discount stores. The retailer is a favorite of money expert Clark Howard, who raves about the store’s Kirkland Signature brand.

Although it costs to join Costco’s warehouse club, there are some ways you can shop there without becoming a member.

Let’s take a look at the top department and discount stores, which ACSI calls “general merchandise retailers.”

Here Are the Top Department and Discount Stores According to Customers

Company2021-2022 ScoreChange From
Previous Survey
Sam’s Club (Walmart)78-1
BJ’s Wholesale Club770
TJX (Marshalls, TJ Maxx)77-1

ACSI says its study is based on email interviews with 36,517 customers who were contacted between January 11 and December 20, 2021, and asked to evaluate their recent experiences with retailers.

Register to download the complete retail study from ACSI.

How To Save Money at Retail Stores

Here are three ways you can save money at retailers.

Comparison Shop

Clark always wants you to compare prices between stores to find the best deal. In addition to comparing respective retailers, take a look at store brands. They’re usually cheaper than name-brand items.

Buy at the Right Time

Many retailers have their biggest sales during certain times of the year. If you can, time your shopping to coincide with some of the biggest retail holidays such as:

  • Black Friday
  • Cyber Monday
  • Amazon Prime Day

Use Discount Shopping Apps

You can save big money by using your smartphone when you shop. Here are some apps that members of Team Clark have used to buy items for less:

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