Mystery Shoppers Rate Two Of Every Three Supermarkets “Mediocre” Or Worse

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Mystery shoppers rated two of every three supermarkets they “shopped” mediocre or worse in a nationwide customer-experience supermarket study BARE International conducted to gain more knowledge of the grocery industry.

Many of those in the bottom 20% are part of large, well-known chains.

Mystery shoppers rated two of every three supermarkets they “shopped” mediocre or worse in a nationwide customer-experience supermarket study BARE International conducted to gain more knowledge of the grocery industry. Headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, BARE is a global leader in mystery shopping and customer experience research.

According to BARE President Michael L. “Mike” Bare, “We consult with a number of grocery-store chains. Our goal was to conduct a benchmarking study so we could give our clients guidance on how their stores ranked vis-à-vis their competitors in particular and the industry overall. The results surprised us.”

Bare reported that the company randomly chose 26 U.S. supermarkets, some parts of large chains and others locally owned, all of which BARE evaluated in February 2015. “Anything less than a 90% score indicates a mediocre consumer experience,” Bare said, noting that 62% of the facilities visited scored less than 90%, with 53% earning a score of 85% or lower, and 19% scoring less than 75%. “The fact that nearly 20% of all the participants scored below 75% is shocking, especially so because many of those in the bottom 20% are part of large, well-known chains. This shows us that the typical supermarket experience is not one that excites or even pleases consumers,” Bare said.

BARE’s mystery shoppers inspected five departments in each supermarket: deli, bakery, meat, produce, and prepared food. They also evaluated other experience factors such as customer service, store cleanliness, and the appearance and conduct of staff.

BARE International was founded in 1987, the company comprises 9 offices in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, and a global field force of 500,000 evaluators. Bare is also a co-founder and past president of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MPSA), an association whose purpose is to “improve and stimulate the acceptance, performance, reputation, and use of customer experience metrics.”

For more information or to review the benchmarking report, contact PJ Testa at ptesta(at)bareinternational(dot)com.

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Corey Gartenhaus
BARE International
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