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

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Customers of department and discount stores are most satisfied with the convenience of retailers’ store hours and the quality of their mobile apps, according to the latest study from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

In the ACSI’s Retail and Consumer Shipping Study 2021-2022, those attributes scored the highest marks (81) on a 100-point scale.

The study not only measured customer satisfaction with the features and offerings of department and discount stores, but it also ranked specific chains.

What Is the #1 Department Store for Customer Satisfaction?

With a score of 81, 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.

Here are some key findings from the study:

  • Nordstrom came in at #2 with a 1% slide from the previous year.
  • With a score of 75, the speed of the checkout process was the category with the largest gain (+3%) compared to the previous year.

Here Are the Top Department and Discount Stores According to Customers

Company2021 Scores% Change
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 companies.

Read 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:

Wondering what’s on sale right now? Find the latest deals at

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